Andrew Hamilton Affirms Support for Undocumented Students

Sayer Devlin, Jemima McEvoy
NYU is under constant pressure from its students and administration to analyze the discrimination and diversity problems on campus.

Andrew Hamilton sent a letter to students yesterday afternoon declaring NYU to be a sanctuary campus. In the letter, Hamilton responded to recent concerns from students about the well-being of international students on campus. In particular, Hamilton addressed undocumented members of the NYU community.

The letter comes two weeks after students staged a walkout in support of the #SanctuaryCampus movement. A sanctuary campus is one dedicated to protecting its undocumented students from deportation and other litigation from federal agencies. New York is a sanctuary city which means that the city does not enforce national immigration laws.

In the letter Hamilton said that NYU does not allow any federal agency to enter university buildings without permission or a legal process.

“Such permission is not given for targeting undocumented members of our community or gathering information on them,” Hamilton wrote in his letter to students. “The same standard applies to requests for information that is in NYU’s possession.”

Gallatin senior Sumathy Kumar, who helped organize the walkout, said that the letter is an example of how students can affect change on campus.

“Students at NYU are powerful, organized and full of of love,” Kumar said. “This is a testament to that.”

Hamilton reiterated NYU’s existing position against discrimination on campus, citing the university’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies as protection for students.

The university will provide immediate legal assistance to students who require it through the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic and NYU Law Professor Alina Das, according to Hamilton’s letter.

Hamilton also signed a letter signalling his support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals last week. The letter, which has been signed by 435 leaders from a plethora of schools, affirm support for DACA and mentions the positive impacts of DACA.

“To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued and expanded. We are prepared to meet with you to present our case,” the letter says. “This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity.”

Additional reporting by Jemima McEvoy. Email Sayer Devlin at [email protected]

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