Cal State Says It Will Not Help Deport Students

November 17, 2016

Timothy P. White, chancellor of the California State University System, said Wednesday that the university will not help federal immigration authorities under the Trump administration take steps that could lead to the deportation of undocumented students, The Los Angeles Times reported. "Our police departments will not honor immigration hold requests," White said. "Our university police do not contact, detain, question or arrest individuals solely on the basis of being … a person that lacks documentation." The university does not track the number of undocumented students enrolled, but estimates that it has about 10,000 across its campuses.

White's statement reflects a growing movement by students and others to have colleges become "sanctuary campuses" where officials will not help federal authorities track or deport undocumented students. Many students rallied for this cause on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Chancellor White's office issued a statement indicating that he was not making Cal State part of the sanctuary movement.

"The chancellor’s public statement made at today’s Board of Trustees meeting reaffirms the university’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming learning community. The CSU will continue to comply with all federal immigration laws, but the enforcement of those laws is the responsibility of the federal government, not the CSU, and absent a legal requirement the CSU will not enter into agreements with federal authorities for its University to enforce federal immigration and hold requests.  The chancellor’s statements reaffirm the university’s existing approach dealing with immigration agencies and enforcement. Furthermore, the word 'sanctuary' is a confusing term that lacks a universal legal or educational definition and, as such, if used could lead to misunderstanding and misplaced reliance. As such, the university remains committed to embracing the diversity of our students, faculty and staff with a focus on inclusivity and excellence and a safe and welcoming environment. 



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