If you had good parents like mine, you were probably taught to treat others like you'd like to be treated. And this is no different. Whether you're against immigration reform or not -- this is an issue that goes beyond the color of your skin or the country on your passport. This is an issue of justice -- social justice -- and how you and I can better it.
Secure Communities (known as S-Comm for short) is a federal program that partners local police with federal immigration authorities. Any time an individual is booked in a participating jail, their fingerprints are sent through Immigration and Customs Enforcement's database.
It has been a tool meant to "remove criminal aliens, those who pose a threat to public safety and repeat immigration violators." But in its 5 year or so existence, the target has found a different bulls eye, deporting about 82 percent of people with no criminal record at all.
And although Secure Communities is a federal program, the adoption of it is not mandatory. Cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have rejected it. So why is Travis County any different?
Since its inception in 2009, Travis County has deported about 19 immigrants each week -- "leading all counties with the highest percentage of deported non criminals."
And The University of Texas at Austin, located at the heart of Travis County, has been no stranger to these type of issues. In the last year alone students rallied together in opposition to the UT chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas that attempted to host a mock immigration "sting" titled "Catch an Illegal Immigrant." After national media hovered the University of Texas, the event was cancelled.
This time however, these students are fighting a tougher battle against those who govern the city they call home, attempting to make it a safer place for their fellow peers and loved ones, by asking the University of Texas Student Government to pass AR 22, a resolution In Opposition to Participation in the "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) Program and Compliance with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detainers.
If passed, the resolution will be a declaration of the University of Texas at Austin Student Government in support of comprehensive immigration reform, and will "[condemn] the interpretation and use of S-Comm by the Travis County Sheriff's Office." (To read the resolution, click here.)
The authors will be presenting the resolution at the university's student government weekly meeting today, October 28th. To voice your concerns, questions or support, visit the official Facebook page, sign the letter of opposition or tweet #AR22.