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English teacher offers support to immigrant students through syllabus

immigrant students
The fight for DACA continues across the US. Source: Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock.

As the DACA drama continues to rage on the US, an English professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) has taken it upon herself to offer a special pledge in a section of her syllabus to protect and accommodate the illegal immigrants who take her course.

According to documents obtained by Campus Reform, the English Composition II syllabus had a section entitled “Clean Dream Act Now”. In this, Professor Brenna Gomez wrote: “As an educator, I fully support the rights of undocumented students to an education and to live free from the fear of deportation.”

She promised to keep the immigration status of all students a secret. She claimed she would only break this pledge if she was legally required to disclose information when presented with a warrant.

Gomez even declared she would help with housing for these students should they need it.

“I pledge […] I will work with students who require immigration-related accommodations,” she wrote.

https://twitter.com/MasonPellegrini/status/829711966620901382

The Media Relations Department at UNM confirmed the university stands behind her statement.

“[We] would like to reaffirm the University of New Mexico’s strongest support and continued solidarity for our undocumented students and their families,” the department said in a statement to Campus Reform.

They added: especially “while the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections are under review and may possibly be terminated.”

The university has an Undocu-Task Force in place to give students the “long-term support and resources” they need.

UNM is also in contact with its “congressional delegation regarding legislative responses.”

The Undocu-Task Force starts by expressing gratitude and support for immigrant students at UNM.

“Undocumented students at the University of New Mexico add tremendous value to our university community. UNM is richer and stronger because of them.”

“At UNM, we value each and every one of our students because each of us defines all of us,” UNM said in the statement.

“We have a history of serving undocumented students, and rest assured, we will continue to find ways to make higher education more accessible and inclusive.”

https://twitter.com/melanyfroot/status/953757254611763200

No doubt the immigrant students in Gomez’s classes feel relief. However, some students have expressed disapproval.

Gregory Jim, a student enrolled on Gomez’s course spoke to Campus Reform about his concerns.

“Universities teach how students should hold ‘Academic Honesty, Academic Excellence, and Academic Integrity’ to the highest degree,” he said.

“Shouldn’t federal law be considered honesty and integrity? As a Native American who is Navajo and fully supports Trump, it is confusing to me why we have to bring these types of political arguments into the classroom.”

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