COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - A group of Texas A&M faculty members met with President Michael Young and Provost Karan Watson Tuesday morning to discuss a petition to make A&M a sanctuary campus.
It’s a petition that was met with some criticism from Congressman Bill Flores during an interview on WTAW radio last week.
Flores recently recommended the university decide against becoming a sanctuary campus. If it does, Flores says he would work to cut off federal funding for the school.
“There is a law that has been broken, and if A&M becomes complicit in breaking that law, then they should not receive any federal funds,” said Flores (R-District 17). “There is no difference between that and giving federal funds to a sanctuary city that is harboring law breakers.”
In response to Flores’ comments, Texas A&M referred News 3 to an earlier letter from President Young to the Aggie community. It noted the school's diversity and said the university would continue to serve all students regardless of race or immigration status.
Faculty member Felipe Hinojosa was at the meeting with administrators Tuesday. He sent News 3 a statement on behalf of the faculty group:
“We had a good meeting with President Michael Young and Provost Karan Watson to discuss our petition calling for the protection of undocumented students on our campus. We left the meeting believing that our administration is committed to protecting our students by enforcing the laws already in place that ensure their safety. We will continue to work with the administration to assure that this remains a priority as we work to be a campus that is welcoming to every student. Many challenges remain, but as faculty members we are committed and prepared to work with the administration to address those challenges.”
The A&M College Republicans group has previously stated that they believe sanctuary cities promote illegal immigration and violate the law.
“Just because you’re undocumented that doesn’t mean you should be deported," said Elvis Martinez, a student at A&M. “I feel like it should be confidential information so people can finish their degree.”
“They have already made their place here at the university. They have already started classes. They are already working toward their education, and to just uproot someone in the middle of their college experience, I just don’t think is a good idea in general,” said Margarita Montalvo, another Texas A&M student.
In the radio interview last week Flores said he was sensitive to the situation facing children of undocumented immigrants, but added systems need to be put in place to get them on a path to citizenship.
Tuesday, News 3 asked Flores if he wanted to expand on his comments from the radio interview. A spokesperson from his office said the congressman had nothing to add.