Given the recent explosive actions taken by Donald Trump, it’s more important than ever that President Fry declare Drexel a sanctuary campus.
For those out of the loop, a sanctuary campus is an institution of higher education that actively adopts policies that protect its undocumented students and workers. These policies include, but are not limited to, pledging to not allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to carry out activities with no legal basis such as raiding on campus, and pledging to not voluntarily give out information about those of undocumented status to authorities.
In December, Fry sent out an email to the Drexel community explaining that he had signed a statement, hoping that “DACA is ‘upheld, continued, and expanded.’” He also went on to say that “Drexel [would] not join other universities in declaring itself a ‘sanctuary campus,’” since “it has no basis in law.”
However, there is no concrete basis in law to forced detentions and deportations of groups or individuals based on national origin or religion either.
In fact, Trump’s anti-immigrant orders as well as the corresponding actions of ICE are borderline unconstitutional. In addition, the concept of offering sanctuary to the persecuted transcends laws and borders — it is a simple demonstration of humanity that is rooted in morality, humanism and global faith traditions.
Signing a petition is not enough. It would be disheartening to see Drexel comply with the lackeys of a tyrannical administration. Therefore, our school must take an active role in the sanctuary campus movement, which has been endorsed by the American Association of University Professors.
That’s why the Drexel Socialists (which I am a member of), in conjunction with a coalition of other student organizations, are organizing a pro-sanctuary rally on campus on May 1. The first of May is celebrated worldwide as May Day. The holiday has historically been associated with labor and working class action, and in recent years, pro-immigrant action. It’s the perfect day for a rally like this. It’s also the perfect day for the nationwide Day Without an Immigrant movement to call for a general strike, not only by recent-generation immigrants, but by the black and brown communities and the LGBTQ communities as well.
We encourage all to come. The rally will be at Perelman Plaza at 11 a.m. on May 1. It will be followed by a march to the Juntos-organized Day Without an Immigrant rally at City Hall at noon.