WNPR

Yale Students Call for Declaration of a "Sanctuary Campus"

Nov 17, 2016

Students at Yale staged a walk-out Wednesday, in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump’s policies on immigration and deportation. 

They joined more than 80 other schools around the country in calling on school officials to declare their universities “sanctuary campuses.” 

In practice this would mean a commitment to support and protect students who are undocumented immigrants, if they’re threatened with deportation.

Organizer Ramon Valdez said there’s a lot of fear in the air since the election. "One first step that we can take, before Donald Trump even takes executive office, is to send a message saying this is not who we are," he told reporters.

"We as a university, we as a student community, we as New Haven, have a long history of protecting immigrants," said Valdez. "I think now more than ever it is very necessary to reaffirm that."

Another student, Andrew Schmidt, said he believes the university should be in the forefront of the effort to change the conversation.

"The thing that I hope happens is that Yale and all these other institutions lead a charge, culturally, to eventually, hopefully make America like a sanctuary country, that is welcoming to people, and not infected by exclusionist and isolationist rhetoric," he said.

Yale has issued a statement saying they are open to dialogue with the student community on this issue.