Petitioning President Barack Obama and 1 other

Academics support rights for immigrant workers

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As faculty, staff, students, and administrators from different universities and colleges, we applaud the nationwide movement by institutions of higher education to offer support for their undocumented students and for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as well as to declare themselves Sanctuary Campuses. Some of these initiatives have focused on supporting DACA students, while some have extended to the entire campus “community” that also includes its workers, students’ families, and students’ home communities.

At the same time, we support undocumented workers around the country who are standing up and claiming the broadest possible definition of “community.” In particular we note the call that a coalition of Worker Centers is making to the Obama administration to protect all of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States from criminalization, detention, and deportation. The Worker Centers' petition makes important demands beyond the campus sanctuary efforts.  They write:

"Mr. President, we require you take a bold, creative, and humane political measure to protect families and help consolidate the national economy. We demand that you issue as soon as possible a Decree for General Pardon of Infraction of Immigration Status before the end of your term of office. This should include all undocumented workers who contribute their income and their taxes to this country."  (Full petition available at http://workerscollab.org/wordpress/2016/12/06/political-statement/.)

We believe that our university communities stretch well beyond our students. Our communities extend to those who work directly for our universities, but also to so many others such as those who grow the food that we eat in our dining halls, pack the books that we receive in our bookstores, and make the clothes that we sell with our logos. We strongly support the demands of the Worker Centers in the attached letter, and believe that as members of university communities, we have a special responsibility to make our voices heard.

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