2Sanctuary Plan Nixed
Liberal students and illegal immigrants urged universities across the country to declare themselves sanctuary campuses. Photo credit: Nathan Lambrecht/The Monitor via AP
Pennsylvania State University, one of the largest universities in the country, will not be adopting the title of “sanctuary campus.”
The term is taken from “sanctuary city” for what cities call themselves when they declare that they are protecting undocumented immigrants from federal immigration law.
University President Eric Barron says that the term in itself is “ambiguous” and holds no legal validity. While sanctuary cities can make it illegal to arrest people based solely on their immigration status or ban people from asking about others’ citizenship, “sanctuary campuses” cannot do anything.
According to Barron, the label implies that the university has powers to do things that they cannot such as exempting their campus from federal immigration laws.
No university has the power to do such a thing. The title also wrongly implies that a university can provide special protections that are beyond the law to students who are undocumented.