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Illegal immigrants at Columbia demand counselors, sensitivity training

Group demands to be shielded from Homeland Security, as well

A group of illegal immigrants at an Ivy League university have released a list of demands that includes “sensitivity training” for faculty and staff and “specifically trained immigration counselors” at the school’s Counseling and Psychological Services center.

The Columbia University group, known as Undocu, released the demands last week and affirmed that they “expect the university to act” upon them. The group “refuse[s]…to amend or change” any of their stated demands.

“How will the university help us cope with our legal working rights being taken away?” the group asks. “How will the university help with our inability to pay tuition or housing?” The group calls upon Columbia to “support undocumented students in both undergrad and grad schools with the objective of creating undocumented student specific scholarships and grants.” Onduco also demands that “need based funding” must be available for illegal immigrants at Columbia, and that the counselors at Columbia’s Center for Career Education receive “awareness training.”

From the list of demands:

Reflections and Renewed Demands, by UndoCU:

This past year, the year of UndoCU’s conception, we have consistently faced issues and problems that the university has, at best, responded to sparingly. Our daily lived experiences are shaped by national and federal forces that we must face with bravery, but the collective university administration’s inaction has worsened these issues. Some of us were on the verge of homelessness. Some, including their families, are at high risk of deportation. That the university is not active in aiding and ameliorating these problems demonstrates Columbia’s lack of intrinsic interest in its undocumented students.

We therefore present this list of demands upon which we expect the university to act. We are willing to work with anyone, to any extent, in order to resolve these issues. We refuse, however, to amend or change any of these demands.

-Specificities of the Provost statement.
It is important to know that we are already facing many similar issues, even with DACA, and have been since before the election. We are still unclear about stipulations and implications of implementing what was promised in Provost Coatsworth’s statement. Those of us who are non-CC/SEAS students must be given the same treatment as undergraduate students. We understand the policies and structure of the schools, but in practice and on paper the unequal effects are clear and unacceptable.
In the event of our DACA being revoked:
How will the university help us cope with our legal working rights being taken away?
How will the university help with our inability to pay tuition or housing?
In all possible senses, how will the university provide the proper support that will allow us to thrive as students and contributing members of our university community?

Undocu also objects to illegal immigrants being designated as “international students” because such classification “puts [illegal immigrants] at risk of having [their] information exposed to Homeland Security.” The group demands that illegals be “respect[ed] and recognize[d]…as domestic students.”

Read the whole list here.

MORE: Columbia to become a ‘sanctuary’ campus for illegal immigrants, fund their educations

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