Special Reports

University Of Washington Urged By Unions To Protect Undocumented Students


Unions are calling on the University of Washington to protect undocumented students. The groups are urging the institution to become a safe space for said students.

Seattle Times reported that six unions that represent an estimated 15,000 workers at the University of Washington and UW Medicine wrote a letter to leaders of the school to protect undocumented students. The letter was addressed to Dr. Ana Mari Cause, university president, as well as chancellors Dr. Mark Pagano and Dr. Bjong Wolf Yeigh.

"Since the U.S. Presidential election, we have engaged in a number of membership conversations, and learned in horror and dismay about the increase in hate-related attacks to members of our campus community," the workers wrote. "Among the groups most likely to be targeted by a Trump administration and those emboldened by his campaign promises are immigrants."

It was also noted that, while the statement issued by President Cauce and Provost Baldasty confirms that the school supports undocumented students, the unions are asking UW leaders to continue with their efforts to protect its students and employees by taking concrete steps to assist minority members of the campus community.

The unions want the University of Washington and its campuses in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell, along with the UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center to become sanctuary campuses. Other UW facilities are also included in the petition.

The group asked for the university to make sure that the identities of undocumented and Muslim members of the community be protected. They also asked for the school to continue allowing qualifying DACA and undocumented students to pay in-state resident tuition, among other requests.

"We believe that all, regardless of country of origin, belief system, or immigration status are welcome, all are valued and all must be safe," Andrea Canini, a bargaining committee member of student workers union UAW 4121, said. "We know there is a strong competing vision that surfaced during this election our opponents say that non-citizens, particularly non-white citizens, are less central and less valued in our society and therefore suitable targets for hostile action."

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