The Founding Vision of TNS Sanctuary Working Group
The Sanctuary Working Group (SWG) is a 30-member collective including TNS DREAM Team, affected international students, allied students, and affected and concerned faculty and staff.
The SWG is partnering with leaders across the university to address the following deficits in support and protection for international and undocumented students, faculty and staff:
PROTECTION OF INFORMATION
To review data collection practices to ensure that information related to immigration and citizenship status that may be used against any member of the community is protected;
To deny requests to share such information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or other government agencies unless mandated by court order, warrant or subpoena; to inform affected students of such requests;
To require trainings for all staff (including housing staff and campus security) on how to respond to federal agents seeking access and to develop a clear process for staff to follow in the event that they are presented with such requests;
To prohibit faculty, staff and campus security from requesting or reviewing information regarding an individual’s immigration status unless essential to their administrative role;
To reevaluate the protocol for referring student conduct to the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies, in light of minor criminal citations and misdemeanors becoming deportable offenses; to prioritize harm reduction alternatives such as counseling and mediation;
RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
To increase institutional financial aid for noncitizen students, especially undocumented students and those who might be affected by a repeal or change in DACA;
To provide emergency housing and expand job opportunities on campus for noncitizen and international students who cannot travel during academic breaks due to their immigration status;
To provide free or low cost competent and expanded legal support for all affected members of our university community;
To provide health care stipends for students who do not have access to Medicaid due to their immigration status and who cannot afford to pay for school insurance;
To develop alternatives to class attendance for students unable to attend in person due to their immigration status;
To facilitate the extension of international students’ visas by (a) lowering the required assets for and lengthening the duration of I-20 status; and (b) waiving status maintenance fees for affected students;
To create a resource center and staff position dedicated to supporting undocumented students and orienting prospective applicants from US high schools who are undocumented;
To fully staff the International Student and Scholar Services office with accountable personnel specialized in responding to the needs of international students, particularly those without access to loans or credit or with complex immigration status.
To create and sustain on-campus working groups that include students, faculty and staff to assess and address the evolving needs of all those affected;
To add our name to the “Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students” already signed by more than 600 colleges and universities across the US [Completed: TNS president’s signature requested Nov. ’16, he signed it Mar. ’17].
To publicize broadly that the New School is a sanctuary campus. To be effective, TNS must implement these steps in consultation and collaboration with the members of our community who are directly affected, including the students, faculty and staff who are members of the SWG and TNS DREAM Team.