U of I conveys support for illegal immigrant students
Officially expressing staunch support for all student body members following November’s election, University of Illinois leaders recently issued a statement to reassure illegal immigrant student body members of their secure position on the system’s three campuses.
Following the presidential election — which brought up immigration issues — constituents at each of the University of Illinois’ branches ran spontaneous petition drives in efforts to recruit protection for any illegal immigrant students.
In a carefully considered response, University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen, Executive Vice President Barb Wilson and chancellors Michael Amiridis, Robert Jones and Susan Koch announced that while they cannot legally declare the campuses as sanctuaries, the institutions would do everything in their power to support all their members.
“(We) will continue to do everything we can within the law to reassure, support and protect our students," the executives said in a group statement maintaining both the system’s responsibility to abide by the law and its dedication to its population. “Let us be clear … that includes our undocumented students.”
The state university system was founded as a student-centered institution. The academic leaders noted that U of I has long maintained a commitment to inclusion and diversity and reiterated their support of any legislation designed to provide financial aid for illegal immigrant students.
“We are proud that the U of I system is already a leader in supporting undocumented students,” the university leaders said. “Consistent with current practices, we will continue to protect student and employee confidential information to the fullest extent allowed by law … We pledge to advocate for and work to protect our undocumented students.”
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