COMMENTARY: On behalf of Standing with Our Students, we read with great interest Chancellor Carruthers’ recent statement to the New Mexico State University community on President Trump’s executive order concerning immigration. We appreciate that he wishes to “provide a safe and caring community where all students can focus on learning without fear of persecution and where all faculty and staff know that they are valued and supported.”
It is also wonderful that he extends this protection to DACA students. In his memo, he acknowledges that this executive order materially affects our students, faculty, and our university community as a whole.
However, we would encourage Chancellor Carruthers to go further. This executive order has already disrupted the education and research of students and faculty who have legal permission to study and work here. The order threatens our university’s ability to recruit and retain talented students and researchers from all over the world.
We would ask the chancellor to specify the ways he will work with faculty, students and administrators to provide a safe and caring community.
We hope to see a strong and clear public statement confirming the following points:
- In accordance with federal law, the enforcement of immigration law rests with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Protection. Campus police will not partner with federal, state, or other local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law except when required to do so by law.
- The university will not share immigration status except when required to do so by law.
- Campus police will not inquire about or record immigration status when performing their duties.
- Anyone found to be harassing members of the university community about their race, religion, or country of origin will be immediately referred to the appropriate authorities.
- A desire that the immigration ban be ended quickly, as it threatens to cause great harm to New Mexico State University’s ability to maintain its excellence in serving its students and generating cutting-edge research.
We also hope that Chancellor Carruthers will join the many other university presidents across the United States who have written about the global responsibility American universities have exercised in the project of international cooperation and peace.
Andrea Orzoff is an associate history professor at NMSU, Julie Rice is an associate sociology professor, and Elizabeth Schirmer and Connie Voisine are associate English professors. They write on behalf of the NMSU campus group Standing With Our Students.