Political Editors / December 1, 2016

Princeton University’s Non-Sanctuary Sanctuary Campus

The Ivory Tower solution to Trump’s promise of rescinding Obama’s DACA.

Christopher Eisgruber, the president of Princeton University, recently sent out a letter urging Donald Trump to continue Barack Obama’s immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). That’s essentially the cleverly named “Dreamers” Act, which never received congressional approval. Eisgruber defended DACA as “a wise, humane and beneficial policy.” That’s arguable, but Obama’s lawlessness in enacting it was neither wise nor beneficial. In the letter, Eisgruber sought to walk the line of both supporting illegal immigrant students while at the same time supporting Rule of Law. Good luck with that.

Eisgruber stated that he was motivated to write the letter in response to some who had “asked Princeton to declare itself a ‘sanctuary campus.’” He responded in the letter by stating, “Immigration lawyers with whom we have consulted have told us that this concept has no basis in law, and that colleges and universities have no authority to exempt any part of their campuses from the nation’s immigration laws.”

While stating that Princeton would not declare itself a “sanctuary campus,” he also made it clear that the school would seek to protect the privacy of all its students, and that it would do everything in its power to accommodate those DACA students. However, Eisgruber also noted that the university was not “beyond the law’s reach.”

So, the bottom lines is that Princeton University will not declare itself a “sanctuary campus,” yet in many ways it will essentially behave as one. The university’s passive-aggressive behavior is to choose a policy of non-enforcement while at the same time not seeking to prevent the federal government from enforcing it. Those in the ivory tower evidently like to have their cake and eat it too.

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