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Education Policy | Latina/o Studies | Political Science


Pedro dos Santos


The election of President Donald Trump in 2016 brought fear to undocumented and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status students on campuses across the United States. In his campaign, Trump detailed his desire to get rid of the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Various institutions of higher education created resources, put in place sanctuary policies, and even declared themselves as sanctuary campuses to fight against the challenges that hindered undocumented and DACA students from achieving a higher education. This paper focuses on the policies at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, two private Catholic institutions of higher education in rural Minnesota. This paper identifies five sanctuary policies implemented by institutions of higher education; non-disclosure of student information, disallowing immigration officials onto campus, increased financial aid opportunities for undocumented students, preventing school officers from acting as immigration enforcement agents, and demonstrations of public support for undocumented students. Through content analysis of school websites and interviews with staff and administration at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, I examine the policies established to support undocumented and DACA status students and whether they are sufficient for these institutions. This paper concludes with policy and resource recommendations for those involved in policy making decisions at institutions of higher education, to best protect and support their undocumented and DACA students.