In the wake of the presidential election, several public and private
colleges and universities are declaring themselves “sanctuary campuses,”
stating that they will limit their cooperation with federal immigration
authorities if President-elect Trump decides to pursue ending the Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and seeks to deport undocumented
The 1982 Supreme Court case Plyler v.
Doe allows these young people to stay in school, while the DACA program
gives them employment authorization, lawful presence and Social Security
numbers. Although the DACA program does not
mean legalization, it has allowed hundreds of thousands of so-called DREAMers
to pursue higher education.
The definition of a sanctuary campus is somewhat fluid and
evolving as the Trump administration outlines its policies on immigration.
However, many colleges and universities are defining what it means to be a
sanctuary campus. Some institutions are creating a sanctuary space that provides
legal counsel, while others are pledging to decline to provide immigration
information to federal authorities and are establishing a network of alumni
willing to offer pro bono legal help to undocumented students.
Institutions across the country are concerned that the Trump
administration along with the support of Congress, could withhold federal
funding for colleges by refusing to issue student loans to students at
sanctuary campuses or withholding federal research grants. It is hard to
predict what the future holds for DREAMers under the new administration, many
are hoping for details after President-elect Trump’s January 20th
 In a 1982 landmark
judgement, Plyler v. Doe, the U.S. Supreme Court
decided that the Equal Protections Clause requires local school districts to
ensure that all children in the United States have access to K-12 education. Plyler
v. Doe, however, does not apply to higher education. However, according to
the National Conference of State Legislatures, when it comes to higher
education, three states explicitly bar
undocumented students from enrolling in universities: Alabama, Georgia, and