U Of I President Refuses To Make School 'Sanctuary Campuses'

Dec 12, 2016

The University of Illinois President recently declined to make any of the school’s three campuses so-called “sanctuary campuses” for undocumented students.

Tim Killeen cited the need to uphold state and federal laws. Elizabeth Redden, a reporter for Inside Higher Ed, has been covering the sanctuary campus issue for that publication. She says the term "sanctuary campus" can be seen as politically charged because it doesn’t yet have a legal definition. 

“I think there’s some concern that the embrace of the ‘sanctuary campus’ label, particularly in certain states and certain parts of the country, could lead to threats for withdrawal of funding," Redden said.

Redden says President-elect Donald Trump has said in the past that he wants to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding.

“There will continue to be concerns among a lot of undocumented students on campuses and their allies about the potential for stepped up immigration enforcement," Redden said. "And I think there will continue to be pressure on those universities who haven’t made a statement one way or another.”

U of I is the largest public university in Illinois.

  • WNIJ's Jessie Schlacks and Brian Moline contributed to this report.