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Jan 26, 2017 08:27 AM EST

University Of Maryland Urges Faculty Not To Ask For A Student's Immigration Status

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The University of Maryland's Office of Diversity and Inclusion has created an initiative to protect undocumented students in campus. It has advised faculty and staff members not to ask about a student's immigration status or use the term "illegal alien."

The requests, as reported by The College Fix, are said to be part of an online message to employees named "What You Can Do." It is part of the university's efforts to help undocumented students feel safe and secure.

The message, which is part of a larger "Undocumented Student Resources" website, is one of the many efforts developed by the University of Maryland to protect and defend illegal student immigrants. Leaders of the student government are also working towards providing protection for their undocumented colleagues while student activists has asked for more support for them as well as for the school to become a "sanctuary campus."

The website debuted last fall and provides information on both federal and state legislation for undocumented students. This includes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the Maryland Dream Act.

UMD's Diversity and Inclusion office also created a training program called "UndocuTerp." Its aim is to equip staff and faculty with the knowledge, skills and resources that they need in order to help undocumented students at the school better.

It has two sessions. The first session will focus on understanding the terminology and policies related to undocumented students in the local and national context. The second session will focus on listening to the experiences of undocumented students at the university.

Last month, 25 student organizations that represent eight minority communities at UMD presented 64 demands to the school administration. According to The Washington Post, the terms included increased mental-health support and scholarships for the students. It also asked for prayer rooms in every major building and shuttle service to a Muslim center for Muslim students.

The coalition is named ProtectUMD. The minority communities that signed the list of demands are the marginalized, American Indian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, pro-Palestine and undocumented.

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