Borders as Method Immigration Action Proposal Receives Partial Funding


Photo by Amelia Wells.

Andrew Schwartz, News Editor

The Borders as Method (BAM) proposal for the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) savings fund money had two components. The first concerned student internships and community based-workshops. The second concerned a legal defense fund for community members. BAM’s request for workshop funding was not granted by ASWC. These workshops would have centered in part around the creation of a coordinated action plan for the community in the event that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was reported in the area.

ASWC did grant funding for three years of internships. Interns will focus on building a community network of alumni, lawyers, students, advocacy groups and local institutions committed to helping immigrants in legal trouble. Some collaborating institutions are the First Congregational Church, the Saint Patrick Catholic Parish, the Puentes and Colectiva Legal in Burien, and OneAmerica in Pasco. The full nature of the internships is open-ended. For example, the proposal suggests that interns may eventually work to raise money via the community network. The internships will begin in the fall.

The legal defense fund makes bond money available to Whitman students, staff, faculty and their families in the event of legal trouble related to their immigration status. For bonds, $5,000 is available per case and $1,000 for associated costs. BAM requested funding to account for four potential cases. ASWC provided money for three cases.

The BAM proposal references the “desperate times” emerging under the Trump administration. “There is an urgent need,” it continues, “to build networks of support and organizations to promote immigrant justice. Part of this is to start by deconstructing the barriers between the Whitman campus and the larger community.”