U Of I President Says Campuses Not Sanctuaries For Undocumented

Dec 7, 2016

U of I President Tim Killeen speaks at Monday's Urbana campus Academic Senate meeting at the Illini Union.
Credit Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen says the school’s three campuses can’t serve as sanctuaries for undocumented students. 

He cited the need to uphold state and federal laws, but said leaders will do all they can within the law to protect students, including the undocumented. 

Killeen's remarks come after petition drives on all three campuses, citing incidents of intimidation of women and under-represented students.  Asian American Studies Professor Naomi Paik was among those who started the drive in Urbana.  She says her backers used a different definition of sanctuary than administrators:

“It’s fostering an inclusive campus environment, it’s providing both financial resources and legal resources to undocumented students," she said. "None of these things that we’re asking for violates a law.”

Paik says while U of I administrators were apparently consulting lawyers, she believes they haven’t been talking with affected students about their needs.

Killeen says U of I will remain committed to protecting student and employees’ confidential information, as well as legislation providing financial aid to undocumented students.