No Sanctuary in the Ivy League

Published on November 30th, 2007

An imposter learns compassion ends at the campus border

By Mark Cromer, Senior Writing Fellow

If there ever was any doubt about the self-serving and hypocritical nature of the so-called compassion that the Left furiously mouths for illegal immigrants, events at Stanford University recently put an end to it.

Students and faculty at Stanford were shocked—shocked!—to discover that an 18-year-old had been attending the elite Ivy League school since last fall even though—gasp!—she wasn’t enrolled as a student.

That’s code for she, or her family, had not forked over the more than $45,000 annual tuition to attend this prestigious academy. In short, you might say she was at Stanford illegally. Using fraudulent means to access services, from the dormitory to the dining hall to the computer labs.

The daring imposter, identified as Azia Kim of Fullerton, was finally caught after residence hall monitors became suspicious of her and began to ask questions, nine months after she first appeared at Stanford.

Kim’s charade quickly unraveled and university officials immediately ordered her off the campus, as faculty, staff and students reeled from the revelation that Kim wasn’t there legally.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman declared Kim’s presence on campus “a serious breach of security within the residence halls” and vowed there would be a full investigation to determine how it happened and what steps were necessary to prevent a fraud like Kim from taking advantage of the school again.

Sophomore Wilson Velasco told reporters he was “freaked out” as a result of  “the security violation” of Kim’s presence in the dorms and student dining halls.

As Stanford roiled at the presence of a single illegal student among them, Congress continued to steam forward in Washington, determined to grant the single largest hall pass in history: effective amnesty for as many as 25 million illegal immigrants who broke into the country and have used fraudulent means to stay here.

If Kim was encouraged by the organic support that amnesty and illegal immigrants seem to enjoy among those in academia, she was quickly disabused of the notion that she might find sanctuary, amnesty and an eventual pathway to enrollment at Stanford.

There were no candlelight vigils for Kim, no howling protestors screaming “Stop the terror!” as she was summarily deported off campus. No administrators or faculty called a press conference to denounce Stanford’s administration for using divisive tactics.

And most tellingly, Kim found no dorm rooms or study halls declared a sanctuary, with students guarding the doors and daring the administration to attempt to enforce trespass laws or university policy.

Unfortunately for Kim, there were no students or faculty taking to the news programs to decry an admissions system that is broken, that penalizes those good hard working students that merely come to Stanford to study, learn and pursue their dreams.

No, there was nothing of the sort. And it’s hardly a surprise.  

Though universities have long been vocal bastions of support for a mass amnesty and illegal immigrants, when it comes to safeguarding their own borders, enforcing their own rules and monitoring access to the services meant for their students and staff—not outsiders—well, the American academy is unrelenting.

Kim getting the merciless boot out of Stanford is just one recent, high profile example of the brazen double-standard that prevails on university campuses.

At a recent march in support of amnesty, Devon Whitham, a 21-year-old political science student from Scripps College, shared her distaste for border enforcement. “Personally, I don’t believe in borders, particularly in the neo-liberal, capitalist sense,” she said. “It is the nativists that seek to keep immigrants out.”

Whitham and her cadre of fellow students had come down to the hardscrabble city of Pomona to march through a working class neighborhood that has been overwhelmed by the crush of illegal immigrants. A place where public schools and social services have all been stressed to the breaking point even as jobs paying a decent wage have mostly disappeared.

But once Whitham and her friends were done chanting for “social justice,” they drove home to a serene campus that is five miles and six worlds away from the illegal immigrant Mecca of Pomona. Scripps College is in Claremont, a small, upscale town that proudly boasts of its “trees and Ph.D.’s.”

And just how seriously does the five-campus consortium of the elite Claremont Colleges—of which Scripps College is a part of—take their boundaries, policies and rules?

For starters, a large wall surrounds Scripps College, making it look like a fort. Security cameras are everywhere across the campuses at the Claremont Colleges, as are signs that note “all suspicious activities” will be immediately reported. Campus police in their golf carts are a constant presence, eyeballing anyone who might seem out of place.

To access virtually any service in the colleges, whether it is a meal in a dining hall or a computer at the library, one must have a valid ‘five-college’ identification card. Campus appearances of marquee speakers like President Bill Clinton are reserved for verified students and faculty only.

Whitham can claim that she doesn’t believe in borders, but it’s clear that she does—borders that preserve and protect her parent’s investment and her immediate quality of life. Indeed, the entire educational enrichment process at the Claremont Colleges, like most other universities, is zealously guarded by students and faculty to ensure only those who paid for it are able to access it.

Even the parties thrown on the Claremont campuses are carefully monitored to ensure “outsiders” don’t crash them and drink beer that’s been reserved for students. If there ever was a feared and hated “other,” it is he who walks the university campus without student ID.

In this protected bubble of rarified air, students and faculty alike join hands in denouncing efforts to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. They indulge grand hypotheses as they argue borders, nationalism and even the rule of law is arcane at best and oppressive at worst—even as our working class neighborhoods are overrun with illegal immigrants.

I guess that’s what $40,000 of your parents’ money will buy you these days.

The casual contempt and belittling patronage that academia radiates for the American working class is nothing new in our national experience, but Kim’s swift deportation from Stanford demonstrates the epic gulf between what universities say they stand for—and what they actually do.

Mark Cromer is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), www.capsweb.org . He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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