Students, alumni, and faculty at Fuller Theological seminary are petitioning for the administration to designate the campus as a “sanctuary campus.”
“Sanctuary campus” is a term that reflects the school’s willingness to protect students, staff, or faculty who are undocumented immigrants and to protect their information from federal immigration officials.
As of Wednesday evening, over 700 students, faculty, and alumni had signed the petition that was sent on Monday. The petition requested for the school to make public its support for and commitment to protect undocumented students, staff, faculty, and their families; to refuse to release the immigration status of students, staff, and faculty; and to refuse to submit to immigration officials.
“Jesus Christ commanded us to love God and neighbor—thus as Christians we are called to seek the wellbeing of all people, particularly those who are poor, marginalized, discriminated against, and mistreated. Furthermore, Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that however we treat the least of these among us, we have treated him,” the letter reads.
This move comes in the wake of President elect Donald Trump’s vow to deport up to 11 million immigrants and to end a program by the Obama administration called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants temporary relief from deportation to young people who were brought to the United States as children.
President Barack Obama says he will “urge the President-elect and the incoming administration to think long and hard before they are endangering that status of what for all practical purposes are American kids.”
“These are kids who were brought here by their parents. They did nothing wrong. They've gone to school. They have pledged allegiance to the flag. Some of them have joined the military. They've enrolled in school. By definition, if they're part of this program, they are solid, wonderful young people of good character,” Obama said in a statement on Monday.
Should Fuller establish itself as a “sanctuary campus,” it will join schools like Wesleyan University in Connecticut and Reed College in Oregon that have already designated themselves as “sanctuary campuses.” Similar petitions are circulating in college campuses across the country, like Harvard, Yale, Emory, Columbia, University of Minnesota, and numerous others.