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Rutgers President Offers 'Sanctuary Campus,' Newark Students …

NEWARK, NJ — Rutgers University students in Newark joined their New Brunswick peers on Wednesday in a walkout in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory.

Dozens of Rutgers-Newark students participated in the walkout, which was conducted in solidarity with a larger walkout and protest on the New Brunswick campus that drew hundreds of incensed anti-Trump protesters.

Responding to students’ concerns, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said that the school will protect the privacy of undocumented immigrants attending the university.

“We will protect student confidentiality and will not share private information unless required by law or a court order,” Barchi stated. “We expect all persons associated with the university to protect student privacy and confidentiality, as well.”

According to Barchi:

  • Rutgers police do not inquire into nor record the immigration status of students or other persons unless a serious crime has been committed
  • Rutgers University does not use E-verify for any purposes other than to comply with longstanding federal law regarding employment eligibility
  • Immigration status is not a factor in student housing decisions

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy characterizes colleges and universities, like Rutgers, as ‘sensitive locations,’ places where, in the normal course, enforcement actions should not occur unless extraordinary circumstances exist,” Barchi said.

“We cherish and will protect the rights of free expression and privacy that are afforded to all members of the Rutgers community. We will do everything in our power to protect the safety of our students and community,” Barchi stated.

The idea of Newark as a “sanctuary city” isn’t limited to the Rutgers campus. Earlier this week, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka promised that the city would continue its policy of protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation by U.S. immigration authorities.

“Despite the election of Donald Trump, we see no reason to change that policy,” Baraka stated in a city news release. “Together with New York and Los Angeles, we do not hold undocumented inmates in jail at the request of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless the detainer request is accompanied by a judge’s order. Undocumented immigrants who are arrested by the Newark Police Division for criminal activity continue to be subject to the law the same as criminal suspects who are American citizens.”

Newark also saw another anti-Trump protest last weekend when a group of protesters marched from Rutgers University to City Hall and Newark Penn Station on Saturday, marshaling around 150 people at their peak.

Photo: Tracie Koehnlein‎

Photo: Rutgers Newark, Facebook

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