November 16, 2016
The Board of TrusteesPresident Phil HanlonVice Provost Inge-Lise AmeerProvost Carolyn DeverExecutive Vice President of Finance and Administration Rick Mills et al.
Re: Dartmouth College as Sanctuary University for Undocumented Immigrants
To the Dartmouth College Administration:
Dartmouth College prides itself on its commitment to mutual respect, access, opportunity, and advancement for all. Dartmouth embraces diversity with the knowledge that it significantly enhances the quality of a Dartmouth education. It is now more important than ever to secure the human rights of the very students this institution proclaims to include.
In recent years, Dartmouth has made efforts to actively support undocumented students. The current political climate warrants that Dartmouth not only release a statement that reaffirms this commitment by declaring itself a sanctuary college, but also that it implement concrete measures to protect undocumented students. The election of Donald J. Trump makes it imperative that Dartmouth reaffirm its commitment to inclusivity.
President-Elect Trump’s stated intentions to repeal the Obama administration’s immigration reforms and to initiate mass deportations will have devastating effects on both undocumented students and students who are members of mixed status families (https://www.nilc.org/issues/health-care/aca_mixedstatusfams/). Trump has vowed to eliminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on his first day in office (https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca). Introduced by President Obama in June 2012, DACA has allowed undocumented immigrants to work legally, obtain deportation deferral, acquire state identification and driver’s licenses in select states, and acquire a unique sense of belonging within the United States.
We call upon Dartmouth College to do everything in its power to protect students at the college and in graduate programs from the imminent threat of deportation. In admitting students from vulnerable communities, Dartmouth has the obligation to provide these members of our community with an equitable and just education. This requires the provision of spaces and resources that will enable them to thrive at Dartmouth and beyond. We are calling on Dartmouth to protect the human rights of students by making this institution a sanctuary college for undocumented students. If Dartmouth is going to promote the value of a diverse student body, it must move to protect those students who help it to achieve this goal.
Dartmouth College has already become a beacon of hope in higher education for undocumented students. The College has provided the Dartmouth Coalition for Immigration Reform, Equality, and DREAMers (CoFIRED) the platform to aid in the doubling of the matriculation rate of undocumented students in the last three years. We call upon the college to continue acting upon its already proven commitment to its undocumented students. As such, it is vital that Dartmouth, as an institution, publicly reaffirm that any manifestations of bigotry on campus are unacceptable.
In light of the antagonistic environment and the coming policy changes, we call on the college to:
-Immediately release a statement assuring the safety of undocumented students and its commitment to diversity and inclusion -Declare, along with Safety and Security, that they will not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in localizing and detaining students. There is reason to believe that Hanover Police officers cannot enter the campus without the permission of the College administration. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are also subject to similar restrictions based on a 2011 Memo regarding places of worship, schools and hospitals (https://www.ice.gov/doclib/ero-outreach/pdf/10029.2-policy.pdf). -Establish a pact of non-compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and work closely with Hanover Police to pledge that neither they nor the institution will assist or cooperate with ICE to conduct raids, detentions, or deportations of immigrants, similar to the statement of non-compliance issued by the LAPD and Denver Police (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-los-angeles-police-immigration-20161114-story.html and http://www.denverpost.com/2016/11/15/denver-aurora-police-federal-immigration-laws/) -Provide legal and mental health support for Dartmouth students, both documented and undocumented, who may be affected by the election of Donald J. Trump -Establish a pool of funds for the legal counsel of undocumented students and their families -Provide a framework of transparency in the creation and disbursement of these funds -This pool should include but not be limited to the provision of funds for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival fees, and must be independent from the emergency funds disbursed through the Dean’s Office -Provide sensitivity training for staff and faculty on undocumented students’ rights and the availability of resources to ensure these rights
Dartmouth has taken steps to achieve inclusivity and diversity, but it is time to make even greater strides. It is Dartmouth’s moral and ethical responsibility to protect the students directly affected by President Elect Donald J. Trump’s shameful rhetoric and proposed policies. Campuses nationwide are being called upon to do everything in their power to protect vulnerable communities, and other Ivy League institutions are collectively working towards acting as sanctuary campuses. President Oxtoby of Pomona College and President Janet Napolitano of the University of California immediately publicly defended their policies on educating and supporting undocumented students without prejudice (http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article113780763.html). Dartmouth should follow their example and support the student-led struggles for social justice that have made Dartmouth a better place.
The undersigned will hold the administration accountable for the execution of these action items.
Signed,The Dartmouth Coalition for Immigration Reform, Equality, and DREAMers Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and All Other Concerned Members of the Dartmouth Community