NEW BRUNSWICK…Rutgers University has put in place policies equal to those of declared “sanctuary campuses” such as New York University, Columbia University, Wesleyan University and University of Penn, to protect undocumented students, according to the Rutgers AAUP-AFT faculty union President David M. Hughes. “In coming together to protect undocumented students, and encourage them to continue with higher education, we have effectively formed a ‘sanctuary campus,’” he said. According to Hughes, President Barchi affirmed, “Rutgers is and always will be a sanctuary” at the December 8 University Senate meeting.
In public messages, Rutgers President Barchi has pledged to continue to charge Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students in-state tuition and promised not to release student records to the federal government unless legally required to do so.
Hughes also said that faculty run immigration law clinics, which afford undocumented students excellent resources to understand and exercise their rights.
“Response on campus to the threat to undocumented students has been overwhelming and university management has responded accordingly to our demands,” said Hughes. “Almost 2,000 of us marched on campus for protection for undocumented students. Thousands of members of the university community signed petitions calling for sanctuary campus measures and many academic departments endorsed that petition.”
The measures should provide a level of security to current and prospective students and Hughes hopes other universities follow suit. “Together, with President Barchi, we have built a legal wall of welcome, protecting our undocumented students from a newly hostile government,” he said.
The Rutgers AAUP-AFT full-time and part-time faculty unions represent 7,000 teachers in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. Our organizations fight consistently for college affordability and quality education. Learn more at www.rutgersaaup.org .