When we consider safety for undocumented students on college and university campuses, we are not only thinking about the dangers that law enforcement and immigration enforcement present, but also the importance of cultivating an environment in which undocumented students feel supported and have allies.
When it does come to interactions with immigration and law enforcement, it’s important that undocumented students are aware that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) often visit campuses to check up on international (F-1 and J-1) students. These visits are commonplace, and colleges and universities are generally well-prepared to handle them. That said, there are guidelines and legal restrictions for ICE visits to campus, even legal ones, and it’s critically important that all university faculty and staff, as well as undocumented students, are aware of their rights when interacting with law enforcement.
Colleges and universities should be prepared for all interactions with immigration and law enforcement officers and have processes in place that keep undocumented community members safe. Faculty and staff should be informed of this protocol and trained to understand the realities that undocumented individuals face through “UndocuAlly” trainings.
One way undocumented students and allies have mobilized around campus safety is by advocating for what is called a “sanctuary campus.” While the intent of the sanctuary campus movement is for colleges and universities to adopt policies specifically to protect undocumented people on campus, it’s important to remember that “sanctuary campus” is not a legally enforceable term. As a result, it’s critical to push for specific policies on campus that will help to keep undocumented students and community members safe. You can read more about the sanctuary campus concept in the section, Advocacy Resources for College & University Students.
Know Your Rights
Community and Ally Support
Interacting with Law and Immigration Enforcement
Organizing and Protesting