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Politically Motivated? University of Maryland Creates 'Undocumented Student Coordinator' Position

03-24-2017
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WASHINGTON -- Since the election of President Donald Trump, both sides of the immigration debate are making moves. That includes institutions like churches and schools.  

Just outside the beltway, The University of Maryland is creating a new undocumented student coordinator position designed solely to help illegal immigrants.

"I think it does create a false stigma when we say 'undocumented students,' 'illegal immigrants' or anything like that – a lot of them are here for education," said UMD junior Oru Wonodi.

"I think it will make their transition into college a lot easier," said UMD sophomore Sarah Dudley.

Right now, there are more than 100 undocumented students attending class on the UMD campus. Many are protected under an Obama administration policy known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The law grants undocumented immigrants who enter the country as minors a 2-year period of deferred action from deportation.

A Political Agenda?

Alfono Aguilar, the former chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship, told CBN News that this move by UMD is meant to advance a political agenda on campus and even clash with President Trump's immigration policy.

"Donald Trump has been very clear that he is going to go after undocumented immigrants who pose a threat to the security of our communities. They are not going after DACA recipients," said Aguilar.

"I think they are trying to make a political point," he added. "There were more deportations under Obama. Why didn't they create this under Obama?"

Katie Lawson, University of Maryland spokesperson, told CBN News, "As part of the university's ongoing commitment to undocumented students, we continue to consider ways to offer support."

"We are assigning a UMD staff person to serve as a coordinator to address the immediate needs of the undocumented student population, and we will continue to assess the need for staff support moving forward," she said.

"I've gotten various emails from the university saying that this is a sanctuary for all kinds of students no matter where they are from," said UMD sophomore Hassan Yousaf.

Aguilar remains skeptical.

"At the end it exacerbates the fear among DACA recipients because it sounds like they are creating the office to protect them because the federal government is coming after them…which is not happening," he said.

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