Opinion, Staff Editorial

University response to executive orders raises more questions

The idea of sanctuary campuses is shrouded in ambiguity, and the practical outcome of this designation is still unclear. Schools such as Wesleyan and California State University have policies allowing them to refuse to help – but cannot hinder – immigration forces and law enforcement. The UC system has also ordered that their police services not participate in immigration enforcement, along with helping students retain financial aid and acquire legal assistance in the event of detainment.

UM administration has not concretely agreed to such sanctuary policies, along with many other schools around the country who are cautious to risk the legal and financial repercussions. Yet UM seems to want to give the impression that it is a sanctuary campus.

The university released an announcement last week in support of undocumented DACA students, or “Dreamers,” but little additional action is actually being provided during a time of great uncertainty for all non-citizens. Our community relies on university leaders for guidance and a sense of stability that’s best achieved with actual information.

What was provided, however, was a misleading statement that appeared to announce support for DACA students in light of the executive orders but in reality just reviewed existing on-campus resources, such as the Immigration Clinic and the Counseling Center, as well as a new scholarship for high school seniors from Miami-Dade county applying to UM for the fall.

The key phrase buried in the announcement is that the university “will do all it can, within the law, to enable them to continue their education and employment.” This statement lacks substance, as the law itself contains so many ambiguities. By limiting itself to what’s legal while reemphasizing university values of inclusion and tolerance, UM has positioned itself in a middle ground, straddling both a sense of empathy and a compliance with the rapidly-changing immigration laws.

Students are not looking for the university to be comforting in the midst of a stressful situation. Students are looking for real, honest details about any progress that’s been made and the specific factors considered by these decisions.  If this statement is the end of the line, then it appears that UM is saying its hands are tied in any legal sense and will not function as a “sanctuary campus.”

However, the tone of the statement suggests otherwise, which makes students wonder how UM will enable Dreamers to continue when a difficult situation arises. If students are affected, does UM plan on helping students find pro bono immigration lawyers? Will UM offer distance-learning options for students who do end up being detained?

It would be more helpful for the university to decide on a concrete plan of action before making an announcement, or to inform the community if tough decisions are still being made. We don’t need to know the destination, but we deserve to know which direction we’re headed.

The full university announcement can be found at news.miami.edu.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board. 

February 1, 2017

Reporters

Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

Michael Rumph, former Cane cornerback and current cornerbacks coach, has mentioned, along with every ...

N’Kosi Perry, definitely on the quiet side, met the media for the first time on Monday. He’s the Mia ...

On a day in which University of Miami football coach Mark Richt said veteran quarterbacks Malik Rosi ...

Week three of fall camp began today, and the first practice after Saturday’s first scrimmage of camp ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

Researchers use a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar to show an in ...

UM’s First Star Academy supports foster care youth. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.