On Saturday, February 25, I attended a Deliberation entitled, “To Be or Not to Be: A Sanctuary City”.
The deliberation team conducted their deliberation on the pressing issue of illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. I felt the team provided a comprehensive overview of the topic, and effectively connected it to the Penn State community by mentioning the potential for Penn State to become a “Sanctuary Campus”.
We began the discussion by talking about the email sent by President Barron to the student body, declaring that illegal immigrants attending Penn State would still be considered students in the Penn State community, despite the negative sentiments put forth towards illegal immigrants by our current president, Donald Trump.
Their first approach was to address the legal aspects of sanctuary cities with respect to the past, current, and proposed immigration policies. We shared thoughts on the fine line between the extent to which federal laws could be nullified by the individual states and overruled, allowing the states to decide the particular issue of illegal immigrants themselves.
Then the discussion progressed to the existence of safe spaces on college campuses, Penn State in particular. We identified potential positive and negative outcomes due to the existence of these safe spaces or lack thereof. There was a general consensus to refrain from instituting a legitimate place designated as a “safe space”.
The final way the team approached this topic was through the idea of creating an education program at Penn State. This program would include important resources for illegal immigrants, such as their rights, as well as the rights of regular Penn State students.
I feel the deliberation was conducted very well, as I remained interested and attentive throughout the duration of the event. I learned a lot about the current issues when dealing with illegal immigration, and my eyes were opened to just how many people are affected, directly or indirectly, by this issue in the United States.