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Students petition for sanctuary campus; Abbott vows to cut funding

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Photo by: Lara Dietrich | Multimedia Editor

On Thursday, Dec. 1, a mixed coalition of students congregated around the Stallions in the Texas State University quad between noon and 5 p.m. in a peaceful demonstration to show support for fellow students, who are concerned about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals being repealed. The demonstration aimed to add signatures to their petition to request Texas State be a Sanctuary Campus. This protest took place the same day that Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to cut funding for any Texas school that became a Sanctuary Campus in response to the petition being circulated by these groups.

DACA says people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. It is used to defer removal action for a certain period of time, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Obama established DACA in 2012 under executive order.

The coalition was composed of unaffiliated students, as well as students from various on-campus organizations, including Latinas Unidas, LULAC, Hombres Unidos and SCOPE.

Officers from the University Police Department were present during the protest at the request of the student coalition responsible for coordinating the demonstration.

Attendees spent the day soliciting signatures for a petition requesting that university administration officially designate Texas State a Sanctuary Campus and refuse to make the names of DACA students attending the institution available to the public for reasons of personal student security.

“I want Texas State to be a Sanctuary Campus because I, as a minority, feel like I should be supporting other minorities, and protecting everyone in the student body,” said Josue Reynoza, electronic media sophomore.

Abbott does not endorse sanctuary cities or campuses and said to just follow the law.

“Texas will not tolerate sanctuary campuses or cities,” Abbott said on Twitter. “I will cut funding for any state campus if it establishes sanctuary status.”

According to a rough estimate from SCOPE president Elena Barrera, the Sanctuary Campus petition already had approximately 1,000 signatures prior to the beginning of the protest, and she believes it has the potential to gain another 1,000 signatures by the end of the demonstration.

This protest was one of many taking place around the nation today in conjunction with a “national day of action” called for by Movimiento Cosecha, a nonviolent movement dedicated to attaining permanent legal protections for undocumented immigrants.

Reynoza said the movement gained traction by utilizing social media. He first saw the hashtag ‘Sanctuary Campus’ on twitter.

“People come here from other countries because they’ve heard stories about the American Dream, but when they get here they see that dream is preached, but it isn’t practiced,” said Nikolas Farrell, English freshman and a Residence Hall Association Council treasurer who helped organize the protest. “The more we build a community that’s connected and united, the better this campus will be.”

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