Here’s How Campuses Could Protect Undocumented Students From Donald Trump’s Deportations


"We want people to know that they will be welcome here if they lack documentation"

The chancellor of the largest four-year public university system in the country said this week that it won’t help federal authorities deport undocumented students—an announcement that came the same day students across the country led walkouts urging schools to shield students from the deportations proposed by President-elect Donald Trump.

“We want people to know that they will be welcome here if they lack documentation or not,” Timothy White, chancellor of the California State University (CSU) system, told TIME. “The concern that has arisen with respect to many of our students and their families is real and has become debilitating, and I want our students to know—and I want our faculty and staff and communities to know—that we support these students, that we understand the times we’re in, but we’re going to be there to support them and help them succeed, whatever comes our way.”

Trump said he plans to deport up to three million undocumented immigrants with criminal records, and he has said he will repeal President Obama’s executive orders, which could include the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. “It’s not a secret that the President-elect has indicated that he wants do things differently with respect to immigration,” White said.

At a Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, White noted that students on CSU campuses have experienced “a lot of uncertainty at best, and a sense of fear and vulnerability at worst,” in the wake of the presidential election.

During the meeting, White said the CSU system would not work with state, local or federal law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law. He said university police departments would not honor immigration hold requests, nor would they question or arrest anyone simply because they are undocumented or suspected of being undocumented.

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