At least eleven Ohio colleges and universities, including Ohio Wesleyan University, are standing up for immigrant students who could see their statuses change after President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month.
Some advocates, lawyers and universities are concerned that Trump could cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed young immigrants to work and travel for humanitarian, educational or employment purposes.
Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio University in Athens, and Miami University in Oxford have joined schools nationwide in signing a statement urging for continuing and expanding of the program, The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday.
Other Ohio signers include Columbus College of Art & Design, Denison University in Granville, Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio Dominican University in Columbus and Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware.
“We will vigorously oppose any effort to make it more difficult for students to come to the United States to pursue college degrees,” Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones said in a statement to the newspaper.
He said Ohio Wesleyan will admit students in accordance with its nondiscrimination policies and won’t disclose confidential student records “without permission or legal mandate.”
Ohio Wesleyan also won’t participate in a federal student registry based on national origin or other “protected characteristics,” he said.
Online petitions urging institutions to become “sanctuary campuses” have also been circulating on many campuses, including Miami University, Oberlin College, Ohio State and Ohio University.
Local police in so-called “sanctuary cities” are generally barred from inquiring about a person’s immigration status, reporting them to federal immigration officials or assisting with deportations.