‘WE are America!’ Sanctuary Campus Protests Spread Nationwide

Thousands of college students across the country are calling for their schools to be "sanctuary campuses."

An unofficial map of locations of schools that students want designated as sanctuary campuses.

College students, professors, alumni and other leaders on campuses nationwide from at least 80 schools are standing in solidarity with one another and against President-elect Donald Trump and his anti-immigration policies.

“Things are really raw for a lot of students,” said Danny Siegel, president of the student government at UCLA, where about 1,500 protesters participated in a demonstration on Wednesday.

At the University of California at Davis, students were recorded chanting, “You are not America!” and “WE are America!”

And it’s not just students who are putting the pressure on officials. At many schools, professors are joining the movement and signing petitions as well. According to Siegel, UCLA administrators expressed their support to student leaders. And on Wednesday evening, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann joined an on-campus march with her students.

At Berkeley High School in California, students participated in a nationwide walkout on Wednesday. Charles Burress, a spokesman for the school, said school officials joined the protest and that the students would not be disciplined.

Protesters from schools of all sizes are calling on school officials to declare their campuses “sanctuary campuses.” While specific conditions vary by school, a “sanctuary campus” is generally regarded as one that publicly supports undocumented immigrants. The goal is for administrations to not follow strict deportation policies Trump has repeatedly threatened to put in place.

“Different campuses are doing different things,” explained Vera Parra, an organizer with Cosecha Movement. “Actions are not necessarily directed at school administration, but about supporting undocumented students on campuses and their fears about what can happen to them and their families under a Donald Trump administration.”

The Cosecha Movement, or Harvest Movement, is a group fighting for “permanent protection, dignity and respect for our undocumented immigrant community,” according to its website. Cosecha was named in honor of the many undocumented farmworkers and others that have contributed to America’s continued growth. It began as a small group of immigrants rights activists that called itself the Honesty Team, and almost three years later the movement is now spreading across the country, with “villages” (Cosecha’s term for its organizations) in Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota, Arizona and California.

Cosecha’s ultimate goal is a general strike against Washington until the voices of immigrants are heard.

“The United States economy would collapse without immigrant labor and consumer power,” Cosecha states on its website. “The only way to demonstrate sufficient power as an immigrant community so that permanent protection can even be negotiated is to have a general strike of workers across sectors and students.”

Gilberto Rosas, an associate professor in the departments of anthropology and Latina/Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, co-authored his university’s petition, which calls for “an unequivocal, public declaration of our university’s support for and protection of undocumented people and their families on our campus.”

“Given what is on the horizon, the promise [by Trump] to deport up to three million people, not to mention the recent history of deportation and detention already occurring in the United States, there needs to be a clear message sent to our immigrant students that UIUC is going to be a sanctuary,” Rosas said.

Oberlin College has a petition of its own, “Make Oberlin a Sanctuary Campus.” Shelley Lee, an associate professor of history and comparative American studies at the college, co-authored the letter, which calls on the school “to stand with other colleges and universities and investigate how to make Oberlin a sanctuary campus that will protect our community members from intimidation, unfair investigation, and deportation.”

“We wanted to take a moral stand on this issue very quickly and to urge the administration to take the steps to make a meaningful institutional response to this very uncertain situation in which very vulnerable members of our college and university community could potentially be targeted,” Lee said.

Earlier in the week, Nicole Fabricant, a professor of sociology and anthropology at Towson University, said the movement can hopefully serve as a learning experience.

“There’s an education that needs to happen here on campus,” she said.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • Ironic that Cosecha started as the “Honesty Team” when they are champions for those that broke our laws and entered illegally.

    • Honestly, how do you think they got here? Do you think they bamboozled the federal government, or so you think we benefit from a shadow economy of workers who can be oppressed because they have no legal recourse.

      Don’t be a jerk.

      • I think those that violate our laws should be punished. Those that are here illegally should be deported. That is what would happen in any other sovereign nation on this planet. I’m tired of people that are not US citizens, and therefore have no constitutional rights demanding entitlements. I’m not being a jerk. We simply cannot sustain a 20 million person drag on our welfare/medical system when they are not paying federal or state taxes.

        • You’re right – you’re a self-righteous jerk. I guarantee that I pay more than 1,000x the taxes you pay and it doesn’t bother me a bit. I donate to help poor documented and undocumented families’ children get access to education. The way I see it is that they’re people, just like my family. You can either be a Schindler or a Himmler.

          If the undocumented were really a drain on our society, somebody would have done something about it, because he only thing our government is good at is taking in money, the fact that they’re here tells you the government making money off of them so it can spend it on the welfare (red) states. I agree with one point- if they’re a felon, goodbye.

        • Charity Dell

          PETER–Undocumented folks ALWAYS pay taxes whenever they purchase
          anything; use the roads/highway systems; use the bus and/or subway system; use a taxicab for transportation; get gasoline to fuel cars to get to
          those jobs they obtain; eat at any restaurant of any type–including the
          ubiquitous McDonald’s and/or 7-11/Quik Chek store, etc.

          If they win the lottery in any state, they pay a HUGE tax on their winnings, the same as all other Americans. That is in addition to any STATE taxes on gasoline, clothing, income, liquor and cigarettes, etc.

          Just because they may not be homeowners that does NOT mean they are immune from paying taxes! The IRS–Internal Racketeering Service–finds a way to exact their cut. We ALL pay taxes of some kind or other. Only the RICH
          escape, like our President-Select who boasts he has not paid taxes for YEARS.
          Corporations play “musical states”, uprooting to other states to avoid paying
          their fair share of taxes to state governments. They, too, want to be like our
          President-Select and pay NOTHING to state or federal governments.

          • Many pay income and SSI taxes on a fake or someone else’s SSN. Billions go in with no obligation to pay benefits. You have to be foolish to think that the government isnt making money off of this.

            It’s racketeering.

        • Charity Dell

          PETER–Does that include all the millions of WHITE illegal immigrants who live here with friends and relatives? The United States has millions of Euro-descendants who have been coming over since the 1920’s, who did NOT come
          here “legally.” They have been hiding in plain sight in ethnic enclaves, living
          with family members–cousins, aunts, uncles, their children on those visitors’ visas.

          Many of these illegal Euro-descent immigrants come not only from Western Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe,
          but also from Eurasian countries, North Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
          South Africa, Angola, Mozambique; and let’s not forget WHITE Latinos from
          Cuba, Brazil and other Western Hemisphere countries.

          If the CIS went to EVERY American home and deported ALL the WHITE
          illegal, undocumented immigrants, we would need to build huge fleets of
          jets and schedule these deportation flights by the thousands. You know the

        • Charity Dell

          PETER–continued (hit the submit button by mistake…) You know the Feds
          will NEVER spend that much money on JET FUEL just to deport the millions
          of illegal folks to ALL the countries they hail from! It’s really not cost effective
          to spend money on deportations, unless VIOLENT FELONS, HUMAN
          TRAFFICKERS and their ilk are deported.

  • Pardon me for being stupid but I don’t understand why they don’t try to become citizens. Is the process that difficult? It would seem to me the most safety for them and especially for their children is to begin the citizenship process. Perhaps something could be organized in their community to help them with the citizenship process?

    • The process is stuck in the past and completely unrealistic for the overwhelming majority of people already living produtive lives in this country.

      • The point is that they went around the system and forced their way in. I’m sorry but if they are here illegally, and they are arrested for a crime, they need to go. Period.

        • They left everything they knew to feed their families and the process was abetted by our government because we needed the cheap labor. All you’re doing is making self-righteous bleating noises to stroke your powerless ego. I’ll bet you even call yourself a Christian. Hahahaha

          • Luke – Why do we need to make up for a failed government? Mexico cannot take care of its own people so the come here looking to take advantage. We do not take care of our own and you would have us provide for a failed government. Flint MI has water problems, floods put thousands out of homes, veterans who have given up their freedom to protect you in college are now homeless and you make fun of Christians. Is someone paying you for this dribble or are you just being difficult.

            Maybe your parents are proud but I believe you are a complete waste of blood. Your college financial support should be terminated as you appear to be learning nothing useful to society or the USA. Get back to class and this time open your ears and mind to possibilities.

          • It boils down to a simple fact. If it weren’t in the best interest of this government to have an underclass of undocumented workers, it would’ve stopped along time ago – unless the government is incompetent to stop it.

            I do not believe the government is incompetent to do things it wants to do. It has 17 “intelligence” agencies, 12 nuclear powered aircraft carriers, 9000 nuclear weapons and it is currently spending $1 trillion to modernize them. We spend more on nuclear weapons than tertiary education.

            That leaves us with one situation – human beings who are trying to take care of their families. We are land of immense wealth. 70% of our citizens call themselves Christians. It’s not complicated: take care of the human beings.

            DAD, I pity your children.

    • Charity Dell

      TERRI–You are not being stupid; our citizenship process is a bureaucratic nightmare and
      our laws actually MAKE people “break the law.” I used to be a personnel officer where I
      worked and it was my job to check ID stuff for compliance to federal regulations. Sometimes
      I had to call what was then called INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service). What a nightmare–I NEVER got a human, EVER. There was just one phone number that was
      perpetually busy.

      Then there are the laws themselves–if you can “find a sponsor” or find a job in the first
      six months, you can then apply for a work visa. Of course, the average worker CAN’T find
      a job that fast on a tourist visa. Then there was the bureaucratic nightmare of filling out
      these five million forms, and then the person has to wait seven light-years for them to
      return. So of course, the immigrant ends up “breaking the law” in order to “keep the law.”

      Oh yes, let’s not forget the plethora of categories of “classifications”. The US has different designations, but there’s just too many of them. And did I mention how the State Department changes its little mind every week? For example, THIS week your country may be on good terms with us; then NEXT week, your country gets in a spat with the USA about SOMETHING or other, and the next thing you know, we’re shutting down the embassy
      and/or restricting the flow of immigrants; but it might change NEXT month.,,,,

      Since the INS became the CIS, things have gotten WORSE, with outrageously high
      fees, designed to keep out “your poor, your huddled masses yearning to live free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore…” Emma Lazarus’ poem no longer describes
      the welcome to “the tempest-tossed” the United States prided itself on. That welcome
      was mostly extended to WHITE “huddled masses”, and today’s “wretched refuse”
      come from non-Euro countries.

      The other problem the United States has, is that unlike Canada or Israel, it does not
      have an orderly system of ABSORPTION CENTERS that would teach English, citizenship basics, American cultural expectations, the monetary system, basic laws, etc. The
      province of Quebec runs its own immigration program, and there are a series of centers
      set up in several cities, in which immigrants attend French classes. The US CIS
      could have something similar, which could employ thousands of us ESL (English as a
      Second Language) teachers, civics teachers, basic skills and GED instructors, etc.

      Those are just some of the issues connected to immigration, which COULD be streamlined, made more efficient, and could work to provide employment for Americans. But until
      the “guvmint” decides to do something about immigration, it will continue to be “business
      as usual.”

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