Baylor Students Push for Sanctuary Status

As Texas moves to crack down on sanctuary cities and college campuses, some activists are trying to go the opposite direction.  A group at Baylor University has presented a petition to school leaders called "Make Baylor a Sanctuary Campus."  The petition requests the school refuse to collect or release any data on the immigration status of anyone on campus, and seeks to prohibit the university from cooperating with federal immigration investigations or deportations "to the fullest extent possible."  As of last week, the petition had collected over 1,300 signatures.

Laura Lysen, a doctoral student in the Baylor Department of Religion, co-authored the petition.  "The things that Baylor says it believes and holds to as a Christian university are deeply incompatible in many ways with what's being said and done to these (illegal immigrants)," she tells KTRH.  "We want our administration to say this is not who we are, and to take particular actions to honor those community members, and to protect them when necessary."

But the petition also faces plenty of opposition on campus, led by Jathan Young, Chairman of the Baylor chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas.  He tells KTRH that this move risks losing a lot of funding for the university.  "We receive about one billion dollars a year in federal funding--a lot of people don't know that because they think we're private, but obviously that's going to affect a lot of scholarships and research."

Indeed, the proponents of the sanctuary campus effort face an uphill battle with the Texas legislature pushing a bill to punish sanctuary polices and the Trump Administration also threatening to pull federal funding from sanctuary cities or campuses.  "We have a bill going to the Texas state representatives right now to defund sanctuary cities, and President Trump is obviously very much against it, so of all times now they want to do's just kind of stupid," says Young.

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