UPDATED: MSU Launches Undocumented Students Website, Goals Include “Reducing Apprehension”
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Updated with comment from Michigan State University
Author: Sergei Kelley
Michigan State University launches a new website for “undocumented students, refugees, and recipients of...DACA,” with goals of reducing apprehension, confusion, and better access to MSU resources.
The website was launched on January 24, 2020, by the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. According to the statement, “the website reflects our policy of nondiscrimination and commitment,” towards current and future MSU students, “regardless of immigration status.”
Those with “mixed immigration status” commonly “face barriers and challenges.” The statement points to MSU’s nondiscrimination policy to “support students from all backgrounds.”
The Morning Watch asked MSU's Spokesperson Emily Gurrant, "Does the support of students 'regardless of immigration status' include if they are illegally in the United States?"
She doubled down saying, "MSU admits students based on academic qualifications, regardless of immigration status."
MSU student Abii-Tah Bih told The Morning Watch, “obtaining an F1 (student visa) is stressful and expensive...I missed the first week of classes because I did not receive my visa in time.”
She continued, “I am hopeful that eventually, enough awareness and advocacy will highlight the fact that nobody deserves what goes on.”
At the beginning of the website’s “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) section, MSU informs all students are eligible to their resources “regardless of immigration status.”
Further, according to an FAQ response, undocumented students can qualify for in-state tuition, depending on certain MSU criteria.
The website homepage reads, MSU “welcomes and supports students without regard to their immigration status.” It has two tabs, one for (FAQ) and another for “contacts.”
Under the FAQ, there are sixteen different prompts relating to undocumented students on campus, resources they are eligible for, and under which situations ICE would come into the campus, or when MSU Police Department would have to comply with legal warrants.
Addressing ICE’s authority and MSU Police Department’s relation to enforcing immigration rules, a website response refers to ICE’s “sensitive location policy” which includes colleges where unusual circumstances can warrant their involvement.
According to the website, ICE’s sensitive locations policy does not prohibit law enforcement in the immediate need for enforcement action. “This is also an agency policy not based in law or regulation, and may be modified or rescinded at any time.”
The website admits MSU is a public entity and cannot bar federal enforcement agencies, but states the MSU Police Department would prefer a notice to their arrival.
“I am sickened to my stomach that my money is going to the education of those who broke the law,” Sam Larey, President of Turning Point USA at MSU, told The Morning Watch.
“By aiding undocumented aliens, we spit in the face of immigrants who followed our laws,” Larey continued.
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