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JMU student starts petition to make school a 'sanctuary campus'

Deigo Salinas drafted the petition calling for JMU to become a sanctuary campus
Deigo Salinas drafted the petition calling for JMU to become a sanctuary campus(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 1, 2016 at 1:16 PM EST
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A student at James Madison University has started a petition to make JMU a sanctuary campus to protect undocumented students following President-Elect Donald Trump's stated stances on immigration.

The petition calls for the school to develop some form of immigration policy to protect undocumented students.

It's a cause that hits close to home for the petition's writer, Diego Salinas, who is an undocumented student.

"I wanted to really make a voice for the undocumented students of JMU and the community, because Harrisonburg is such a large immigrant destination and refugee relocation area," said Salinas.

JMU president Jonathan Alger has signed a letter with more than 400 other college and university presidents to support the continuation of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Signed by President Obama in 2012, DACA allows people who entered the country before age 16 to apply for temporary residence.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to end the program, and Salinas says a sanctuary campus would just be another layer of protection if that happens.

The petition has more than 600 signatures right now, but Salinas wants 1000 before presenting it to President Alger.

 Statement from JMU Spokesman Bill Wyatt:

"While he has not received a copy of the petition, President Alger has already expressed his commitment to our DACA students by joining more than 400 college and university presidents who have signed a letter encouraging the preservation of the DACA program.  Additionally, our senior leadership continues to be in communication with leaders in the JMU Latino/a community to reassure them of the university’s support."