UNT students, faculty again protest to make UNT sanctuary campus

Jynn Schubert & Taylor Crisler | Staff Writers

A few dozen UNT students and faculty stood on the steps of the Hurley Administration Building Monday to protest and petition President Neal Smatresk to make UNT a sanctuary campus.

UNT students advocating for the university to become a sanctuary to undocumented immigrants were satisfied after meeting with Smatresk to discuss policy reforms after previously unsuccessful negotiations. Though Smatresk cautioned onlookers and activists of the limitations to the university’s abilities to legally support undocumented students, he said ICE agents would not be allowed on campus without first obtaining a warrant.

“It’s not just a warrant that they need,” Sanctuary UNT leader and English major David Lopez said. He was one of the two representatives who met with Smatresk in his office. “It’s a whole process. They have to inform UNT police, [and] they have to inform the administration. They can’t just do a raid on campus, so I feel secure about students on that front.”

Students protest for a sanctuary campus Monday, Mar. 6 in front of the Hurly Administration Building. Robert Warren

Associate anthropology professor Mariela Nuñez-Janes and Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja joined protesting students and shared their experienced with U.S. immigrations policy. Both gave speeches on the steps of Hurley.

Students’ concerns have been on the rise since the arrest of UTD student Edwin Romero February 21, who had been detained by Richardson police despite his DACA status. Romero was released the next day thanks to efforts by the North Texas Dream team, a group of activists and lawyers who work Pro Bono to protect the local immigrant population.

“Smatresk showed us much more support than I assumed,” Lopez said. “If worse comes to worse, if a student gets detained, we know we have his support.”

Featured Image: Students protest for a sanctuary campus Monday, Mar. 6 in front of the Hurly Administration Building. Robert Warren

7 thoughts on “UNT students, faculty again protest to make UNT sanctuary campus

  • March 6, 2017 at 11:15 pm
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    Who else will UNT provide a sanctuary? How do we determine what ILLEGAL activity warrants sanctuary status and what activity does not warrant protection? I mean we can’t discriminate.

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  • March 7, 2017 at 8:38 am
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    If you want to be on a sanctuary campus, you need to go to a state that wants them, as well as a state that supports sanctuary cities. Texas is not that state. No amount of protest will change that, and no amount of protest will change the stance of the UNT administration. All 50 states in the U.S. will never all have the same climate, political ideology, stance on certain topics, etc.. Be wise and quit trying to make Texas like California. Trying to do that os a losing battle, and you’re only appearing foolish when you keep protesting.

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    • March 7, 2017 at 11:23 pm
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      That kind of jaded attitude is exactly why people protest.

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  • March 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm
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    Texas is the most youth diverse state in the nation.
    We will make Texas more progressive than California, just wait.
    Texas has for too long been held hostage by jury-mandered districting in favor of right-wing religiously affiliated politicians.
    The Left is unifying to change this.
    Protests are always going to make change happen; whether those protests become riots is up to the money-directed Authorities.
    Many specters haunt this nation, but what does one expect when every inch of land is basically an indigenous burial ground.

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    • March 9, 2017 at 11:27 am
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      Your protests are doing nothing but turning intelligent and sensible people, who just want to make a decent living and provide for their families WITHOUT government handouts, against you. Most Americans don’t want to see those who break the law by entering this nation illegally receive special treatment. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

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  • March 8, 2017 at 12:28 am
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    I think I’ll just go walk into one of these protester’s house and post up on their couch, eating their food and watching their TV. It won’t be illegal, I’ll just be an “undocumented house guest.” Hopefully they will declare their house a sanctuary house and prevent the police from arresting me for breaking and entering.

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  • March 9, 2017 at 11:23 am
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    Texas will not be “progressive” as California as long as it has Republican and conservative leadership. The last governor election was supposed to be the time for Wendy Davis. Remember what happened. And “progressive” is an oxymoron, as the so-called progressive policies heralded by liberals and Democrats make certain segments of the population dependent on the government. California is in terrible shape economically because of “progressive” policies. Why in the world would Texas like to be that way?

    Reply

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