Edinburg – UTRGV campus police may uphold the newly signed SB 4 bill, which will take effect September 1st. Recently, questions arose as to what University law enforcement will do in regards to the verification of someones immigration status. Under the SB 4 bill, law enforcement may face disbarment of state funding if they do not comply with the anti-sanctuary city law.
Last December, in the wake of President Trump’s election, illegal immigrant students of UTRGV stormed UTRGV President Guy Bailey’s office, seeking to get his commitment to protect illegal immigrant students under a “sanctuary campus” status. Bailey, though sympathetic to students recognized as “Dreamers”, ultimately rejected recognizing UTRGV as a sanctuary campus.
As I first stated in an email to our DACA students on Nov. 16, UTRGV fully supports our DACA students and will continue to do so as we go forward. At this time, after monitoring the situation at the federal and state levels carefully, we do not feel that declaring UTRGV a sanctuary campus is wise. In fact, we think it might be counterproductive and harm the students we are trying to support. We will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety and success of our DACA students. – UTRGV President Guy Bailey
The new law would now conflict with a statement that was included in an email and addressed to students and staff at UTRGV
- The primary focus of UTRGV’s police is on keeping our campus community safe. They have an excellent relationship with local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Border Patrol, with a collaborative focus on campus safety. UTRGV police do not and will not ask students, staff, and faculty about immigration status or religious affiliation.
Currently, the university has over 950 undocumented students, and many in which protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The university police is set to receive guidance on how to implement the new law.