Last month we learned that several universities were preparing to follow the “sanctuary city” model and attempt to block federal enforcement of immigration law where it might apply to illegal immigrants enrolled at their schools. I was a bit dubious at the time, figuring that at least some of this bluster was coming from sour grapes over losing the election. But as it turns out, the story has some legs and a number of schools are at least giving the appearance of laying the groundwork needed to set up what would essentially be criminal syndicates. (Fox News)
Universities and colleges in several states are considering labeling themselves “sanctuary campuses” amid fears from immigrant students and pressure from activists following the election of Donald Trump.
College administrators in New Mexico — the state with the highest percentage of Latino residents— are looking into proposals that would grant immigrant students living in the country illegally protections while they pursue their studies.
Meanwhile, advocates in California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas are pressing their state and private universities to provide sanctuary to these immigrant students, known as DREAMers.
The University of Pennsylvania, which Trump himself attended, is vowing to block federal agents (at least without a warrant) from the campus. Others in Illinois, California and Arizona are following suit. New Mexico State University, however, is weighing in on the subject without placing their administration (and funding) in jeopardy.
New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers said Friday in a memo to employees and students that NMSU doesn’t discriminate on the basis of immigration status or require proof of citizenship for admission. However, NMSU respects “the diversity of opinion” and won’t declare itself a sanctuary or ban federal agents from campus because that would jeopardize federal funding, he said.
Eastern New Mexico University officials also said they are not considering sanctuary proposals.
To be clear, any non-citizen students who are in the country legally under programs approved by Congress have nothing to worry about. If they are here because of some executive action taken by Barack Obama and that program is undone with a stroke of Trump’s pen (or if they just flat out jumped the border illegally), things will be different.
I realize we’ve discussed this here before but it bears repeating. It’s not just the illegal immigrants attending these schools who are at risk legally. The students can be deported, but the school administrators who facilitate such lawless action may be facing even greater peril. I would point you yet again to 8 U.S. Code § 1324 – Bringing in and harboring certain aliens. Sections (1)(A)(ii) and (iii) of that statute contain some provisions which sound as if they would apply directly to any University administration or staffers who seek to hide illegals from the feds:
(ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;
(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
The penalties for violating these laws can include being fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
Be careful when you start taking the law into your own hands. It might not work out very well when the new sheriff arrives.