District ‘reaffirms’ support
Moves made to protect students
March 24, 2017
Filed under Campus
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The Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board approved a resolution Jan. 25 in response to concerns from staff and students in relation to federal actions targeting undocumented immigrants.
The Resolution No. 1-S, also titled as “Reaffirming Support of Contra Costa Community College District Students and Employees in Defense of Diversity and Inclusion in the Contra Costa Community College District,” is a list of statements District Employees may refer to should they be asked to assist in aiding the application of any federal immigration laws.
Chancellor Fred E. Wood of the CCCCD sent out an email to employees district-wide containing details of the Resolution No. 1-S, including the list of the five resolved statements.
“Be it resolved, that the [District] police will not detain, question, or arrest any individual solely on the basis of undocumented immigration status, whether actual or suspected,” it said. “Be it further resolved, absent any applicable laws, no [District] employee, including police, has the authority to enforce federal immigration laws and accordingly, shall not participate in any immigration enforcement efforts of federal authorities.”
Additional resolved statements include the CCCCD implementing a policy requiring any federal immigration enforcement authority who wishes to access a campus or acquire information on a student to be “forwarded to the Chancellor or designee who will review and respond in consultation with the District’s legal counsel.”
The CCCCD will also not create a registry of individuals based on religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other legally protected traits. Additionally, the district will not release any information on students that include any data related to immigration status unless they received consent from said student or if such an action is required by law.
“We hope this communication clarifies what elements of the resolution may impact employees and what information employees may need should enforcement actions be witnessed or experienced,” said Wood.
Resolution No. 1-S aims to help protect students and staff across the district from established immigration actions by providing its employees with a revised procedure to follow.
LMC Student Equity Plan Coordinator Eric Sanchez added that the resolution works as a way to provide a safe space for students.
“If someone from ICE came on campus, went to Financial Aid and asked a District Employee for information on a student, that employee would contact their manager, who would then contact the College Chancellor, who would contact a Lawyer all before that ICE agent can get to that student,” he said.
While the Resolution can make it harder for outside forces to get information on students, Sanchez said they have not yet decided on how to handle a situation if students were to encounter deportation officers on campus.
LMC faculty and staff members had also shared their own thoughts in regards to the Resolution No. 1-S.
“I think we work very hard to create a community here for staff and students,” said LMC English professor JoAnn Hobbs. “I feel we have a certain community where we honor and support students and that we wanted to make a statement that we’re here to protect them.”
Hobbs explained she overheard from fellow teachers about students becoming visibly upset following President Donald Trump’s election. A number of students expressed concern regarding what his administration would mean for themselves or family and friends who are undocumented.
“Students are afraid that their information would be used against them to get them deported,” said Hobbs.
LMC, alongside Contra Costa College and Diablo Valley College, are considered diverse in regards to its student population. Through this resolution, the Board could very well be taking vital steps to protecting that diversity.
“The district should be very proud of this work as it moved quickly and passed through the board as policy,” said LMC World Languages Department Chair Laurie Huffman.
“I continue to work in the effort to make certain that our undocumented are informed and provided security and assistance as needed.”