Rutgers ‘sanctuary’ leader avoids deportation after meeting with ICE
NEW BRUNSWICK — A Rutgers student who identifies as an undocumented immigrant and has campaigned for the university to declare itself a “sanctuary” campus was questioned and released by immigration officials on Tuesday.
A number of Carimer Andujar's supporters, including members of the Rutgers faculty union, accompanied her to her interview at ICE’s office in Newark. Afterwards, her lawyer told NJ.com that she was fingerprinted and interviewed and will receive a work permit.
The chemical engineering student, who is president of the group UndocuRutgers, came to the United States at the age of 4 from the Dominican Republic and attends Rutgers under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. ICE called her for an interview, which spurred support from the Rutgers chapter of the AAUP-AFT faculty union and several rallies.
Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-Passaic, spoke at the rally and said that she "is an intelligent, civic-minded person who has lived by the rules while pursuing a shot at the American Dream with the hopes of earning a Master's degree."
"At a time when she should be focused on studying for her finals, she's instead consumed by the worry that everything she has worked for could be taken away from her."
On her Stand with Carimer Facebook page she thanked supporters and said she has returned to her family's home in Passaic. "Today was about a lot more than just an interview, it was about confronting an unjust immigration system in need of reform. However, this fight does not stop with me, it does not stop here, and it certainly does not stop today," Andujar said, adding that immigrants "define what it means to be an American."
Also this week, four Indonesians who were seeking asylum in New Jersey were arrested by immigration officials. They were among a group of eight who in 2013 were granted a temporary stay of their deportation orders, allowing them to remain in the U.S. legally for a year.
ICE officials said they waited too long to file asylum papers.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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