Letter: We must protect our undocumented Spartans
In the aftermath of Donald Trump's election, I call upon our community to protect undocumented Spartans. As a leader of the Graduate Employees Union, our labor union for Teaching Assistants on campus, I know our undocumented members, students and friends are a vital part of our Spartan family, and we must fight to protect them.
Spartans are already standing strong to protect undocumented students. I thank President Lou Anna K. Simon for standing up to continue Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an executive order which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live and work here without fear, and which President-elect Trump has pledged to end.
But I urge President Simon and the Board of Trustees to go further. We must become a sanctuary campus, where we minimize all cooperation with immigration agencies. Our police must not check immigration status, deliver undocumented immigrants to enforcement agencies or release information about immigration status to any federal agency except by court order. We must continue to provide in-state tuition to DREAMers and support the rights of all Spartans to a safe, welcoming and fair environment.
The ancient Spartans fought in a phalanx, a formation where each soldier protected the next with his shield, so that together they could not be defeated. Now each of us must pick up our shields to protect our friends and family, and we can begin by making our campus a safe haven for undocumented students and their families.
Charles Loelius is a graduate student and is the treasurer of Graduate Employees Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.