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CSCU’s Protocol on Immigration Enforcement

by Lorenzo Burgio

The Connecticut States Colleges and Universities system will not enforce federal immigration laws unless legally mandated, and has installed a protocol regarding immigration enforcement, according to a statement by CSCU President Mark Ojakian.

“It is the intention of the CSCU to comply with legally mandated disclosure, orders and judicial subpoenas, but beyond those legal mandates, it shall not further engage in the enforcement of federal immigration laws,” wrote Ojakian in the statement. “The purpose of this protocol is to provide guidance to the 17 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.”

“The Presidential Executive Order ‘Enhancing Public Safety in The Interior of the United States’ will be treated with the utmost respect, dignity and care within the confines of CSCU obligations,” added Ojakian.

This is the protocol laid out in the statement.

If an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent is seeking information on a CSCU campus about student, faculty or staff, they must be referred directly to the president of the institution, or their designee. It should always be reported if an agent is present.

The president will then ask why they are visiting, for a subpoena, and whether the sensitive locations policy has been followed. This policy ensures specific locations, such as churches and schools, are targeted.

The president then contacts the CSCU Legal Counsel. No information or contact with the person in questions will be taken before this point.

If the ICE agent presents a warrant, this needs to be provided to the CSCU Legal Counsel for verification. If verified, only the CSCU Legal Counsel is allowed to provide any information to the ICE agents.

This is protocol for campus security personnel, laid out in the statement.

Police officer and security personnel will not inquire about an individual’s immigration status, or the status of crime victims, witnesses or others who approach security personnel seeking this information.

No one will be detained on the basis of immigration. And CSCU police forces will not arrest or remove any individual based on warrants issued by ICE of other federal agencies. This includes immigration warrants and deportation orders.

However, CSCU does not declare “sanctuary,” explaining that the meaning is too broad. “CSCU does not have the power or ability to declare any ‘sanctuary’ that is exempt from federal or state law,” wrote Ojakian in the statement.

“Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, however, is considered to be a ‘sensitive location’ as described in the 2011 U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) policy. As a sensitive location, the grounds of our campuses should not be the focus of enforcement actions, however, as public spaces are open to the general public, CSCU does not have the authority to bar federal enforcement officers from CSCU public space,” added Ojakian.