On Wednesday night, the Associated Students Senate passed a resolution and tabled a bill, both of which support the protection of undocumented students at UC Santa Barbara.
The resolution, “A Resolution to make UCSB a sanctuary campus,” advocates for the university-wide protection of undocumented students, while the bill, “A bill to make ASUCSB a sanctuary space,” states that Associated Students (A.S.) would “not be permitted” to communicate with immigration enforcement agencies as well as interact, receive or grant funds from more than 10 different companies.
The resolution also condemns the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) and several major companies that the university is currently invested in, such as Salesforce, ABM Industries and the Hewlett-Packard Company among others. A.S. is condemning these companies due to their involvement with I.C.E.
Both pieces of legislature, drafted by Off-Campus Senators Rafael Cornejo and Christian Ornelas, were student-sponsored by Rachel Andrews, Dylan Kupsh and A.S. President Brooke Kopel.
To attain “sanctuary status,” the school needs to meet several stipulations outlined in the resolution.
Refusing to share information with immigration enforcement agencies, investing in “faculty and staff training to support undocumented students,” protecting students and faculty from deportation, barring I.C.E. from all UCSB-owned property and blocking “campus security” from asking about an “individual’s immigration status” all contribute to the definition of “sanctuary status,” according to the resolution.
The resolution calls for all current A.S. executive offices to “release a statement in support of the Undocumented community & International Community at UCSB,” and for the A.S. Executive Director to “release a statement in support of UCSB as a ‘Sanctuary Campus.’”
Ornelas also cited the Senate’s history of support for undocumented students by passing a resolution that supported voter rights for undocumented residents in Isla Vista.
“This Senate and past Senates have history of supporting the undocumented community and it would be good to continue that. Earlier this year, we passed something about voter rights for undocumented folks in I.V. and it’s good to just do something on campus,” Ornelas said.
Rachel Andrews, a second-year biopsychology major, spoke about the resolution during public forum. Andrews said undocumented students often fear being “separate from us, as if they’re not your neighbor or the person you’re sitting next to in class.”
The bill carries similar sentiments to the resolution, with the exception that it is tailored specifically to UCSB-invested companies, stating that “Associated Students shall not provide assistance or resources” and will prohibit any presence of these companies in A.S. “physical space[s]” without the proper documentation to enter them.
Also tacked onto the bill: “ASUCSB will no longer use e-verify in its practices in order to protect the identities of its undocumented members.” E-verify is a “web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States,” according to the company’s website.
While addressing the Senate, Kopel noted that she asked UC President Janet Napolitano if she plans to make UCSB a sanctuary campus. According to Kopel, Napolitano ultimately said she would not, citing fears that it would make UCSB a target if it were to assume the label of a “Sanctuary Campus.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the May 2, 2019 print edition of the Daily Nexus.