RU President Mobilizes to Protect Undocumented Students

909810be78d11384e9b7_20161101_RU_Groundbreaking_007.JPG
Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, seen here during a groundbreaking ceremony, wrote an email to students regarding a bill that would protect undocumented immigrants.
e7a3b67db7e7f4761f83_b3b77133578afb4bd96e859197dd2a19rutgersprotestleaderrichardgarzon.jpg
Rutgers protesters last fall.
83ba283253dff14f174a_Rutgers_Email_1.jpg
The first portion of Barchi's email to the student body.
7d3c8977ff7ff39493da_Rutgers_Email_2.jpg
The second portion of Barchi's email to the student body.
909810be78d11384e9b7_20161101_RU_Groundbreaking_007.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has sent an email informing the student body of a federal bill known as the BRIDGE Act, which advocates say would better protect undocumented college students.

The proposal would essentially build upon former President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Both provide “work authorization and protection from deportation” to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country before age 16 and lived here since, according to advocates.

In Barchi’s email—which was obtained by the conservative-funded, anti-bias watchdog news site Campus Reform—the president highlighted a means for students to write their representatives in support of the BRIDGE Act. But he didn’t urge them to do so.

Sign Up for E-News

“Taking action to show your support is easy—it will take no more than a minute or two of your time,” Barchi wrote, providing a link where students could enter their name and address and generate a pre-written “letter of support” to their representatives.

In the next paragraph of the email, however, Barchi emphasized that participation is “entirely optional,” though he supports the bill.

“I would never presume to tell you what to do with respect to legislative advocacy,” he wrote. “We are offering this option to you because many in our community have participated in activities to bring attention to the plight and status of undocumented students.”

Indeed, Rutgers became a hotbed of pro-immigrant demonstrations in the fall 2016 semester, as students grew concerned over what a Donald Trump presidency could mean for undocumented students.

In December, dozens of activists took to a Board of Governors meeting and ultimately shut it down with calls for Barchi to declare Rutgers a “sanctuary school.” From there, they staged a sit-in in the Old Queens administration building.

Less than a month earlier, hundreds—or even thousands—of Rutgers students and faculty members left their classes to march through New Brunswick in protest against Trump.

Barchi, meanwhile, has committed to defending undocumented Rutgers students.

The writer for Campus Reform, which provided TAPinto New Brunswick with a copy of Barchi’s remarks, alleged that the president might have violated university policy by sending the email.

Karen Smith, a spokesperson for Rutgers, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TAPinto New Brunswick.

But she told Campus Reform that “Barchi understands that students have a variety of positions and that while many support [the BRIDGE Act], there are some who do not. The intention of this letter was to give students the option of voicing their opinion in an effective way.”

Barchi’s email has drawn the ire of at least one campus conservative group, whose secretary called the move “inappropriate.”

A group of several Republican and Democratic lawmakers have co-sponsored of the bill in question, in both the U.S. House and the Senate.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Edison Public Library Donation Drive for Edison Animal Shelter

June 6, 2018

The Edison Township Free Public Library is partnering with the Edison Animal Shelter to do a donation drive for the Edison Animal Shelter. There is a checklist of all items that are being accepted at the animal shelter. These checklists can be found above and the donation bins will be available at all three branches. We will be collecting items until the end of June. For more ...

9-story apartment complex with roof-top pool formally opens in New Brunswick

June 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city's latest luxury apartment building recently held a formal opening for the complex on Neilson Street that has a roof-top pool with cabanas and grills, a dog park and pet spa.

The Quincy, a 393-unit, nine story building opened last month, offering studio and one- and two-bedroom apartment ranging in size from 503 to 1,236 square feet.

Mayor James Cahill said ...

Obituaries

Toms River – Mary Stella Whiteman, 97, passed away peacefully Saturday May 19, 2018 in Rose ...
Read more
Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more

The ESCNJ Offers Innovative Software To Strengthen School Transportation

June 20, 2018

New software promising greater speed and efficiency for school transportation departments is now available through the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ).

The software is the result of a two year collaboration between the Princeton based Artha Systems, an international supplier of business management software, and the ESCNJ.

“The software is unlike anything on the ...

Registration Open For Fourth Annual Softball & Baseball Summer Camp

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Registration is open for the Spotswood Youth Baseball and Softball League's fourth annual summer camp. The camp is for ages five through 15 and will be held every Wednesday in August from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. beginning August 1. In the event of rain on either August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22 or August 29, a makeup camp will be held on the following Friday.

Camp will ...

Rutgers-Camden students who saved man from fire honored by City of Camden

Camden, NJ—The Rutgers-Camden students who saved an elderly man from a March fire at his Cooper Street home were honored by the City of Camden Tuesday night.

Mayor Frank Moran awarded proclamations to Corey Zytko, Jonathan Perez-Gaytan, Matteo Resanovic, Vanessa Solis Palma, Sehwan Park and Tammy Meneses on Tuesday, June 12.

On the night of March 23, the students were hanging out in ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8f0a915f696bb2ae1366_community_shred

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Quibbletown Park, Piscataway

Piscataway Township Paper Shredding Event

Government Green

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Empowerment for the Job Search: Applications & ...

Business & Finance

Thu, July 5, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Trivia Night at the Library!

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

June 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  

 

My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  

 

Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...