Immigration enforcement protocol set for CT college and university campuses

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (Bryan Cox/ICE via AP)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)  –  The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities has released a protocol when it comes to U.S. immigration and customs enforcement on CSCU campuses. The protocol is offering some peace of mind to students who say concerns over deportation are growing on campuses.

“With all of the news about raids and knowing that ICE is very much a rogue agent we have seen a lot of that feeling of being uncertain about what their futures hold but also how safe they are on campus,” said Tashi, a graduate student at Southern Connecticut State University, who is also a member of Connecticut Students for a Dream.

According to CSCU the protocol is to serve as a guide to its 17 colleges and universities with the intent to comply with legally mandated disclosure, order, and judicial subpoenas.  However beyond the legal mandates there will be no enforcement of federal immigration laws.  

CSCU also is deliberately not using the term “sanctuary” because of its broad meaning and says it does not have the power or ability to declare any “sanctuary” that is exempt from federal or state law and it does not want to provide a false sense of security.  CSCU campuses will be considered ‘sensitive locations” which means the colleges and universities should not be the focus of enforcement actions but since they are public spaces CSCU cannot prevent federal enforcement officers from the campuses. 

If ICE agents show up on a campus they should be directed to the President of the college or university at which time the President should ask for the reason they are there and to present any legal documents they have related to their visit. The President shall then contact the CSCU legal counsel.

“We’re not looking to prevent the law from being implemented. We just wanna make sure there is a clear protocol so that everybody understands their responsibilities and their rights,” said CSCU President Mark Ojakian.

CSCU also says student records will not be released except when mandated by a judicial warrant or court ordered subpoena. It will also release records if a student gives their permission to do so. In addition campus police officers and security personnel will not ask about a student’s immigration status nor will they detain a student believed to be here illegally.

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