Sanctuary campus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A sanctuary campus is any college or university, typically in North America and Western Europe, that adopts policies to protect members of the campus community who are undocumented immigrants. The term is modeled after "sanctuary city", a status that has been adopted by over 30 municipalities. Proposed policies on sanctuary campuses include:

  • Not allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers onto campus without a warrant.[1]
  • The refusal of campus police to enforce immigration law.[1]
  • Not sharing student immigration status with ICE.[1]
  • Not gathering information on immigration or citizenship status.[2]
  • Providing tuition support, including in-state tuition rates at public universities to students with DACA status.[2]
  • Providing distance-learning options for deported students to complete their degrees.[2]
  • Providing confidential legal support to students with immigration law questions and issues.[2]
  • Expanding policies to include medical and other facilities associated with the campus.[3]
  • Reducing the deployment of campus police to protests that seek to include undocumented students and workers to avoid intimidation of undocumented activists.[4]
  • Ending practices which undermine worker and student worker labor unions.[5]

The American Association of University Professors endorsed the sanctuary campus movement on November 22, 2016, and urged colleges and universities to adopt sanctuary policies.[6]


An estimated 200,000 to 225,000 college students in the United States are undocumented, according to the Pew Research Center.[7] Approximately 49% of illegal immigrants between 18 and 24 have attended college or university, compared with 71% of all US residents in this age group.[8]

Protests and campaigns[edit]

In November 2016, students around the country staged demonstrations, walk-outs, and sit-ins in an effort to push their schools to declare themselves a "sanctuary campus" from President-elect Donald Trump's planned immigration policy of mass deportations.[9] The Stanford, Rutgers, and St. Mary's protests on November 15, 2016 were among the first.[10] Universities and colleges with protest activity in support of sanctuary campuses include:

School policies[edit]

In the wake of protests and petitions, at least eight colleges and universities have declared themselves sanctuary campuses, and many more have outlined policies and procedures that protect illegal immigrant students and others threatened with registration or deportation.[23]

Self-declared sanctuaries[edit]

Portland State University and Reed College presidents were the first institutions in the country to officially declare their campuses as sanctuaries.[24][25]

College/University Support for DACA/

Undocumented Students

Pledge of Noncooperation

with Deportations



Surrounding Sanctuary Jurisdiction Date Statement by
Portland State University Yes. "will not facilitate or consent … unless legally compelled to do so or in the event of clear exigent circumstances" Yes. Multnomah County Nov 18, 2016 President Wim Wiewel[25]
Reed College Yes. Nondiscrimination, scholarships equivalent to Federal aid. Yes. "Reed will not assist … absent a direct court order." Yes. Multnomah County Nov 18, 2016 President John R. Kroger[24]
Wesleyan University Yes. Nondiscrimination, legal support. Yes. "will not voluntarily assist" Yes. Nov 20, 2016 President Michael S. Roth[11][26]
Pitzer College Yes. Nondiscrimination, legal support, financial aid. Yes. "will not voluntarily comply" Yes. Nov 30, 2016 President Melvin L. Oliver[27]
Santa Fe Community College Yes. No access except in emergency or with a warrant. Yes. Nov 30, 2016 Governing Board[28]
University of Pennsylvania Yes. Nondiscrimination, support, financial aid. Yes. "will not allow … on our campus unless required by warrant." Yes. Nov 30, 2016 President Amy Gutmann, Provost

Vincent Price, Exec VP Craig R. Carnaroli[29][30]

Connecticut College Yes. Yes. "the College can and will use all available means to defend our undocumented students now and in the future." Yes. New London[31] Dec 1, 2016 President Katherine Bergeron[31]
Drake University Yes. Yes. Dec 1, 2016 President Marty Martin[32]
Swarthmore College Yes. Nondiscrimination in housing, financial aid. Yes. "will not voluntarily grant access … will not support" Yes. Dec 2, 2016 Chair of the Board of Managers Thomas E. Spock and President Valerie Smith[33]

Public declarations of protective policies[edit]

Rutgers president Robert Barchi responded that the school will protect the privacy of its illegal immigrants.[34] California State University chancellor Timothy P. White made a similar affirmation.[35] Iowa State University reaffirmed continuation of their already existing policy.[36] Haverford College passed a resolution at the Fall 2022 Plenary (a biannual gathering of 2/3 of the student body that effectively creates policy for the college[37]) that establishes Haverford as a sanctuary campus[38] following their 2016 announcement of similar policies.[39] Haverford's resolution will become official once signed by President Wendy Raymond.

California Senate Bill 54 (California Values Act)[edit]

California Senate Bill 54 was introduced by California senator Kevin de León. The bill requires that California, very much like a sanctuary city, vastly limit its law enforcement agencies from working alongside federal immigration agencies, as well as prohibit them from using their resources to detain and investigate people amongst other regulations, on the basis of immigration purposes.[40] California law enforcement agencies will no longer be able to transfer a person or release information regarding their criminal history to federal immigration agencies without an existing judicial warrant.[41] In addition to that, local and state law enforcement agencies will also be required to release the names of inmates/parolees to federal immigration agencies 60 days prior to them being released from jail if they are or were convicted for a violent crime. If a California law enforcement agency and federal immigration agency work in joint efforts, the California law enforcement agency cannot take on the role of an immigration agency. Not only that but as of January 1, 2009 it will have to create a biyearly report about the frequency of the joint efforts and information exchanged, and that all would have to be posted in the Attorney General's website.[40] The bill has been voted on by the California Senate. According to CNN, it resulted in a 27–12 lead with Democrats being the dominant supporters.[42] Despite the support from the California senate, the bill still faces opposition from groups such as the California State Sheriff Association, that feels like it too tightly limits their ability to carry out their job.[43]

The California public schools this bill will directly affect are any k-12 school under local governing or charter school boards, the California Community College, and the California State University branch. Under this bill the security, police agencies, and staff working for them will be limited to no longer inquire information regarding a person's legal status, release private information that is not yet available to the public, or detain and question amongst other things on the basis of aiding an immigration enforcement agency/investigation.[40] In order for this to take place, three months after the bill is approved, the General Attorney would need to publish a policy with the regulations and limitations that the public schools will need to enact in order to guarantee confidentiality to the students in regards to not releasing their information to immigration authorities. Not only that, but the policy will include regulations that won't allow for immigration agencies to work in the campus or have individuals transferred to them unless a judicial warrant is present. The public schools are expected to follow the policy, or create their own that is up to par with the one created by the Attorney General.[41] Since the state will be imposing new regulations on public schools, they are up for reimbursement for the money they spend implementing them. That is because under California Constitution, a school district/campus is eligible for reimbursement if it had to create a new space in its budget to carry out its mandate.[40] According to the LA Times, even though the University of California is not one of the California public school obligated to implement this bill if passed, it is encouraged to adopt its policies because it is a government organization that provides education and social services among other things to the residents of California.[44]


In 2017, Athlone Institute of Technology became the first designated college of sanctuary in Ireland.[45]

City of Sanctuary UK recognises certain universities as Universities of Sanctuary. The first Universities of Sanctuary were the University of Edinburgh and University of Warwick in 2017.[46] One of the first University Colleges of Sanctuary was Somerville College, Oxford in 2021.[47]


  1. ^ a b c Francis Ward, Stephanie (November 15, 2016). "Can universities create 'sanctuary campuses' to protect immigrant students?". ABA Journal. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Chesin, Caeli (2016-11-18). "Chancellor Subbaswamy responds to demands for 'sanctuary campus'". Amherst Wire. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  3. ^ "How UCLA Students hope to redefine Sanctuary Campus".
  4. ^ "How UCLA students seek to redefine sanctuary campus".
  5. ^ "Joseph Williams on Labor Militancy at UCLA".
  6. ^ "The Atmosphere on Campus in the Wake of the Elections". 22 November 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  7. ^ Mulhere, Kaitlin (January 26, 2015). "Study finds undocumented colleges students face unique challenges". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  8. ^ Passel, Jeffrey S.; Cohn, D’Vera (2009-04-14). "A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States". Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  9. ^ Shoichet, Catherine E. "'Sanctuary campus' protests target Trump immigration policies". CNN. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d "Resisting Trump: A push to make colleges into immigrant sanctuaries". 16 November 2016.
  11. ^ a b c Megan, Kathleen (2016-11-23). "Wesleyan Declares Itself A Sanctuary Campus For Undocumented Immigrants". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  12. ^ "Petition calls on College administrators to protect undocumented students". The Dartmouth. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  13. ^ a b c Kauffman, Gretel (2016-11-17). "New face of the sanctuary movement: US college campuses". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  14. ^ "Resources". Sanctuary. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  15. ^ "Students rally against Trump, call for sanctuary campus". 18 November 2016.
  16. ^ "More than 70 protesters arrested after sit-in at Baker Center".
  17. ^ Writer, CLAIRE LOWE Staff. "Students call for sanctuary campus at Stockton University protest". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  18. ^ "Abbott vows to cut funding for "sanctuary campus" schools". December 2016.
  19. ^ a b Button, Sara (2016-12-01). "The North Texas Walkouts". The Dentonite. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c "Amid deportation threats, universities exploring 'sanctuary campuses' for immigrants". Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  21. ^ "Resolution to be brought to VSG Senate calls for sanctuary campus label | Vanderbilt Hustler". Archived from the original on 2016-12-01.
  22. ^ "Wesleyan University a Sanctuary Campus – Roth on Wesleyan". Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  23. ^ Najmabadi, Shannon (2016-12-02). "How Colleges Are Responding to Demands That They Become 'Sanctuary Campuses'". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2016-12-06. many more have publicly pledged support for DACA and their illegal students. Administrators at many of those institutions have, rather than issue a blanket declaration, articulated what they will and will not do — often hewing to a similar set of policies, with some offering more details than others.
  24. ^ a b College, Reed. "Kroger Declares Reed a Sanctuary College". Reed Magazine | Sallyportal. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  25. ^ a b "President Wim Wiewel Declares PSU a Sanctuary University". The Skanner. 18 Nov 2016.
  26. ^ "Wesleyan University a Sanctuary Campus – Roth on Wesleyan". Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  27. ^ "November 30, 2016 | Office of the President". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  28. ^ "SFCC declared a 'sanctuary campus' for immigrants". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  29. ^ "A Message to the Penn Community Concerning Our DACA and Undocumented Community Members". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  30. ^ "Penn, Trump's alma mater, becomes sanctuary campus for undocumented students". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  31. ^ a b Baldelli, Ann (2016-12-02). "Conn College pledges to make campus a sanctuary for undocumented students". The Day. New London, CT. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  32. ^ Lee, Steffi (2016-12-01). "Drake University president declares institution a "sanctuary campus"". KGAN. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
  33. ^ "Swarthmore Board Pledges Sanctuary for Undocumented Students, All Community Members :: News & Events :: Swarthmore College". 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  34. ^ "Rutgers: We will protect undocumented immigrants on campus".
  35. ^ Times, Los Angeles (16 November 2016). "Cal State will not help deport undocumented students under Trump, chancellor says". Los Angeles Times.
  36. ^ "Iowa State pledges to help students, regardless of status". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  37. ^ "Students' Council". Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  38. ^ The Haverford Clerk (October 23, 2022). "Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  39. ^ "December | 2016 | The Bi-College News". Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  40. ^ a b c d "Bill Text - SB-54 Law enforcement: sharing data". Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  41. ^ a b De Leon, Kevin. "SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY" (PDF).
  42. ^ Madison Park (4 April 2017). "California's Senate passes sanctuary state bill". CNN. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  43. ^ "California's 'sanctuary state' bill clears hurdle, moves to Senate". The Mercury News. 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  44. ^ "What you need to know about California's 'sanctuary state' bill and how it would work". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  45. ^ "Athlone IT is the first College of Sanctuary in Ireland". Places of Sanctuary Ireland. 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2018-11-04. Athlone IT, a midland college with global reputation and international students from over 60 countries, including Mid East and East Asia, has become the first College of Sanctuary in Ireland.
  46. ^ "List of Universities of Sanctuaryaccess-date=1 March 2021". City of Sanctuary UK.
  47. ^ "Somerville has been recognised as one of the UK's first University Colleges of Sanctuary". Somerville College, Oxford. 27 February 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.