The student Senator from Stuart, Joseph Johnson, recently proposed a bill on the senate floor that would petition Emory & Henry’s administrative board to consider making Emory & Henry a sanctuary campus for undocumented students.
Johnson wanted to make it clear that “the passage of this bill will not directly convert Emory into a sanctuary campus, what it does is say the student body agrees with the moral decision of becoming a sanctuary campus and commends all actions by the Administration necessary in becoming one.”
Sanctuary campuses or cities have become a hot topic, after President Trump promised to defund cities and/or college campuses that withhold information on undocumented immigrants and protect them from deportation.
Senator Johnson defines a sanctuary campus as “any college or university in the united states that adopts policies that protect students who are undocumented immigrants.”
The opposing argument against the sanctuary bill is that there is a possibility that the State of Virginia, or the Federal government, could withdraw funds that support Emory & Henry.
When presented with this argument, the Stuart Senator commented that “[he could] understand the fear of losing federal funding and the legal repercussions of this action, but [he] also, morally, feels like it’s the right thing to do.”
To address the fears that students have presented to the senate, Senator Johnson said that “becoming a sanctuary campus does not mean we’re going to admit and place an undocumented immigrant in every dorm. We’re becoming a sanctuary campus in admitting undocumented immigrants who are qualified to be here, and are still paying to be here.”
There is an ongoing process for the bill before it becomes something that the College could implement.
“What my bill formally does is asks the administration on behalf of the student body to become a sanctuary campus,” said Johnson.
– Orlando Martinez