Staffers from Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic clarified definitions of “sanctuary” spaces in an online seminar Wednesday, offering Harvard’s undocumented students individual legal consultation as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office.
Philip L. Torrey, a Law School lecturer who led the seminar, said the label “sanctuary” could mean a number of things in practice, ranging from the physical prevention of immigration enforcement officials from entering a space to the guarantee that those officials have valid warrants before entering.
“The term ‘sanctuary’ has no specific legal definition,” Torrey said.
In December, University President Drew G. Faust said she would not adopt the “sanctuary” term for Harvard’s campus, adding that she thought creating a “sanctuary campus” would further endanger undocumented students. Two weeks later, Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church Jonathan L. Walton designated the Church a “sanctuary” space.
Torrey and fellow Law School lecturer Sabrineh Ardalan also briefed attendees on how to navigate immigration issues as Trump transitions to the White House. The political outsider drew ire throughout his presidential campaign, which many say stirred anti-immigrant sentiment throughout the country.