UC Berkeley preparing students for possible ICE 'sweeps'

The University of California, Berkeley’s Division of Equity & Inclusion has compiled a catalog of resources for illegal immigrant students and “allies,” including a “toolkit” in case of “immigration sweeps.”

The “Berkeley Diversity” home page features several of the resources front-and-center, including a statement warning that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intends to target Northern California for immigration “sweeps.”

“While we currently have no information suggesting that our campus, in particular, could be targeted, we believe it is still important for all of us to be informed and prepared,” the university adds, providing links to more extensive lists of resources for students and “allies.”

[RELATED: Academics blast immigration enforcement as ‘child abuse’]

The school offers six resources for the student community, including instructions on what to do if students are “approached by immigration enforcement agents,” as well as a list of services available to students and staff “in the event of [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] action.”

In a handout titled “Know Your Rights,” the school urges students to “prepare now” if they are worried about “facing” immigration officers. 

“Your plan for responding to immigration enforcement should address questions such as: whether to make statements, whether to provide documents, and whether to provide access to your residence,” the guide explains.

The document goes on to list the rights that a student may have in different hypothetical encounters with ICE agents, asserting for instance that students questioned about their immigration status “have the right to remain silent,” should “stay calm and be polite,” and “do not have to sign anything.”

“If you can’t afford an immigration attorney, the university has resources you can access through the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center,” the document explains.

Similarly, the “Immigration Sweeps Toolkit” provides students, faculty, and staff with a three-page guide that includes steps they can take “to ensure immigration enforcement officers have authority to enter the space before admitting them.”

[RELATED: College trains students to ‘document immigration raids’]

The page also features an FAQ on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as a link to an online booking system where students can make appointments to receive assistance from legal experts on renewing their DACA status.

“Seen ICE Officials on Campus?” asks a tab at the bottom of the list, suggesting that anyone who has should “call our Campus Counsel.”

The final resource directs students to the University of California system’s “Statement of Principles in Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community,” which makes clear that illegal immigrant students, even those without DACA status, “will be considered for admission on the same basis as any U.S. citizen or other applicant.”

The document goes on to outline the system’s policy of non-cooperation with immigration enforcement officials, declaring that UC Police Departments will not assist in identifying or detaining illegal immigrants, and that administrators will not release information about immigration status without a student’s consent.

[RELATED: Attorney for detained student admits he ‘doesn’t have DACA’]

A separate page list four additional resources for the “Ally Community,” including a link to a page explaining Berkeley’s “sanctuary city” status and another directing students to a group called the “East Bay Sanctuary Covenant,” which provides “sanctuary, solidarity, support, community organizing assistance, advocacy, and legal services” to illegal immigrants seeking refugee status.

The list also includes links to an “ICE Activity Hotline” run by a legal services agency called the “Cetro Legal de la Raza,” as well as an “Online Detainee Locator System” offered by ICE.

UC Berkeley officials did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment. 

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