SIU President: Campuses will not be designated as sanctuary camp - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU President: Campuses will not be designated as sanctuary campuses

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

None of Southern Illinois University's campuses will be designated as a sanctuary campus.

According to System President Randy Dunn, he and campus chancellors along with other school officials and staff reviewed potential policy and legal considerations and concluded that the concept of a sanctuary campus is not "clearly defined in any legal sense." The group agreed that any decision made would affect all three campuses: Carbondale, Edwardsville and the School of Medicine in Springfield.

In December, SIU Carbondale's Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate and Professional Student Council asked Dunn and Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell to declare the campus as a sanctuary in an effort to protect undocumented students.

Members of the group determined that adding the designation would suggest that the university would be willing to violate the law, which would in turn put the university and all its students at risk.

“At the same time, there are key principles that we believe are important during this uncertain period,” Dunn said. “We will continue to do everything we can within the scope of established law to support our students. And we take our responsibility to protect student privacy under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) very seriously. SIU is committed to an inclusive, welcoming environment in which all of our students can continue progress toward their degrees and graduate on time.”

There have been concerns raised since Donald Trump was elected president that he would deport as many as 3 million immigrants who are in the country illegally or have criminal records after he made the promise during the campaign.

There are fewer than 60 undocumented students that are enrolled at SIU under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. That program gives young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation and a work permit. It expires after two years, subject to renewal.

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