The Daily Aztec

CSU reassures undocumented students and faculty

by Jocelyn Moran, Senior Staff Writer

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As immigration raids occur across the country, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a statement sent out on Feb. 22 that the CSU will not enter agreements with law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws.

Following it, San Diego State Student Affairs Vice President Eric Rivera sent out a statement on behalf of SDSU reminding the community SDSU is committed to establishing “a safe and welcoming environment for all students, faculty and staff.”

Both statements acknowledged that the CSU is examining how federal immigration policies can potentially affect university campuses.

Chancellor White’s statement also said university leaders supported state and national officials in requesting that President Trump reconsider his immigration policies.

Center of Intercultural Relations Director Edwin Darrell said the statements reinforce SDSU and the CSU system’s values and attempted to ease student’s minds who are impacted by the new administration’s legislation.

On Feb. 21, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued two memoranda, implementing President Trump’s executive orders entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” and “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.” Both executive orders were issued on Jan. 25.

The implementations allow for immigration laws to be enforced more aggressively and Immigration Customs Enforcement to go after illegal immigrants who have committed criminal offenses.

Some of these include minor offenses, such as not leaving the U.S. after an order of removal or abusing a program related to public benefits.

One of the criteria for being detained is if an immigration officer determines the illegal immigrant poses “a risk to public safety or national security.”

Darrell said ICE does not need permission from the university to come onto campus, but it does need permission to get information on students.

In SDSU’s statement, Rivera said students’ immigration status is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

In his statement, White said students should contact their university’s police department if anyone in the CSU community is approached by local, state or federal officials who ask for information on their immigration status.

“Our university police departments will not honor immigration hold requests, and our university police will not contact, detain, question or arrest individuals solely on the basis of being-or suspected of being-a person who lacks documentation,” he said.

White said the implementations do not affect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Darrell said the Center of Intercultural Relations offers a space for students to talk.

“With the students we do come in contact with, we’re making sure we’re giving them accurate information about the resources they do have on campus,” he said.

Darrell said when it comes to students who are being impacted by these executive orders, the Center of Intercultural Relations will partner up with SDSU Educational Opportunity Program in regards to resources that can be provided.

SDSU Interim Chief Communications Officer Gina Jacobs said the Dream Success Resource Area is part of the EOP renovation and is set to open at the end of March.

She said it will be a space for undocumented, AB540 and Dream students with resources and opportunities such as technology, ally training, social events and workshops and programs specific to these students.

“We are looking into a program that’s going to focus, specifically, on knowing your rights when it comes to if ICE comes to talk to a student and asks them for their ID,” Darrell said. “There is no set formula for how to respond to what’s going on, so we are truly learning as we go.”

Jacobs said any students who have questions or concerns regarding the recent executive orders can contact EOP.

In addition to EOP, Rivera listed resources open to students and faculty in his statement including Associated Students, the Employee Assistance Program and Dean of Students Randy Timm.

Rivera said SDSU is proud to be one of the most diverse campuses in the U.S., as diversity is needed to prepare students to work in San Diego’s “binational economy and global workforce.”

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