Carol Christ issues toolkit, resources amid possible UC Berkeley immigration sweeps

Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Related Posts

Chancellor Carol Christ implemented immigration sweeps toolkits and resource guides in a campuswide email Thursday in light of threatened immigration sweeps in the Bay Area.

The toolkit includes FAQs about federal immigration enforcement on campus, a “Know Your Rights” guide for undocumented students and a Staff and Faculty Toolkit regarding how to respond to federal immigration authorities.

Christ’s email was issued one day before a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle was spotted on campus, causing alarm among students and community members. USP confirmed later that day that the immigration agents were invited to speak at an event hosted by the Global Entry program.

To date, the Department of Homeland Security has not commented on or confirmed these reports (of immigration sweeps), and we currently have no information suggesting that our campus, in particular, could be targeted,” Christ said in the email. “However, we believe it is still important for all of us to be informed and prepared in order to support and protect vulnerable members of our community.”

Christ also announced the formation of a new “rapid response team,” comprising both campus and unaffiliated legal advocates, tasked with providing legal advice by phone to students, staff and community members. In the event that an individual is confronted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officials, Christ advises them to contact campus counsel in order to receive assistance.

The Undocumented Student Program, or USP, has a team “ready … to mobilize as needed” in the event that ICE appears on campus, according to USP director Meng So.

The UC “Know Your Rights” guide advises undocumented students to invoke the 5th Amendment, which asserts their right to remain silent when conversing with an ICE agent. Campus law professor Leti Volpp said in an email that while the 5th Amendment will not protect an individual from being arrested, it can prevent self-incrimination.

“If someone is undocumented, they have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions,” Volpp said in an email. “They have the right to see an arrest warrant, to speak to a lawyer, and to make a phone call.”

Volpp recommended individuals memorize the phone numbers of friends, family and an attorney in case of emergency. Volpp also said undocumented community members should reassess where they keep foreign identification documents, which, if found, could be used by ICE agents to “prove identity and alienage.”

The Staff and Faculty Toolkit reminds UC employees that they cannot legally prohibit federal immigration officers from accessing a public building. Staff and faculty are, however, only obligated to provide such access if immigration agents present a judicial warrant, also known as a criminal search, or arrest, warrant.

ICE administrative warrants, unlike judicial warrants, are not issued by a judge, according to Volpp. ICE administrative warrants are only valid in public spaces, including Sproul Plaza, Volpp said.

“Fear and hate are powerful motivators,” So said in an email. “This is why we need to fight for people and communities and try to change lives and laws.”

Francesca Munsayac is the lead race and diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @fcfm_dc.