A Place to Call Home: Defining the Legal Significance of the Sanctuary Campus Movement

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Natasha Newman


The sanctuary campus movement ignited following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. The movement has given rise to questions about the protections available to undocumented immigrants in the United States, with specific emphasis placed on the vulnerability of undocumented students. The movement joins a list of sanctuary initiatives, such as the sanctuary city movement of the 1980s, which was plagued by negative rhetoric that taints the political discourse surrounding sanctuary campuses. Despite the humanitarian nature of the sanctuary campus movement, its legal impact on undocumented students remains uncertain while politicians and right-wing conservatives oppose it as a violation of federal law. This Note analyzes the legal barriers currently facing the sanctuary campus movement, examines current immigration and privacy laws affecting the movement, and discusses ways sanctuary campuses can fill in the gaps left by such laws in order to improve protections for undocumented students.

Author Biography

Natasha Newman

J.D. Candidate 2018, Columbia Law School, B.A. 2012, Columbia College, Columbia University in the City of New York

Article Details

How to Cite
Newman, N. (2018). A Place to Call Home: Defining the Legal Significance of the Sanctuary Campus Movement. Columbia Journal of Race and Law, 8(1), 122–174. https://doi.org/10.7916/cjrl.v8i1.2330