A campaign that started in mid-November to make the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley a sanctuary campus continues to gain more supporters.
After launching a campaign last month to make UTRGV a sanctuary campus, Abraham Diaz and other student organizations at the school have collected more than 1,500 signatures. A few days ago, they also got the support from all 70 members that make up the university’s faculty senate.
Diaz says, “It’s a great step. We know that our campus, our faculty is very supportive. We’re their students, and they know the issues that are going on. So it makes us really happy to see this progression in our movement. A decision like this just proves that the president needs to take a stand for us.”
But not all students feel the same way about having a sanctuary campus, especially after Governor Abbott threatened to take funding away from public schools that choose to be sanctuary campuses.
Jaime Garcia, UTRGV Student said, “The whole reason, UTRGV became UTRGV was because UTPA and UTB did not have access to the funds that other schools in north Texas had. We merged to have access to the same funds. By designating our campus as such, would impede us to have access to the funds we merged for to begin with.”
In a published article by The UTRGV Rider, UTRGV President Guy Bailey said declaring the school a sanctuary campus wouldn’t be the right thing at this time. He added that a mass deportation won’t happen, based on the signals they’ve gotten from Congress, so students shouldn’t feel threatened.
Abraham and nearly 950 DACA recipients will continue waiting for the last word from Bailey, but until then they’ll keep collecting more signatures.
Diaz says, “We’re not petition anything else. We’re petitioning for a place that we can call home on campus. For a place where we can feel safe, and that our university is going to back us up.”
The university’s president said he will meet with the students running the campaign to discuss his decision.