Statement Regarding Local College/University Commitments to Undocumented Students
The Coalition of Advocates for Student Opportunities (CASO) Action Group is made up of undocumented and DACAmented students and allies that works to secure support services for all immigrant students regardless of their legal status. Recently, students and faculty in Rhode Island, such as Brown University and Providence College, have called for their campus administrations to declare the university to be a sanctuary campus. These calls for safe spaces on campus fall in line with those extended by a variety of colleges and universities nationwide.
This statement by CASO calls for safe spaces on Rhode Island private and public colleges and universities and requests the following:
1. Ensure and affirm campus safety and/or security personnel non-compliance with federal immigration agents efforts to locate and/or remove a student, faculty or staff member.
2. Redact any sensitive information in student records (admissions, financial aid, etc) that may identify a student or staff member as undocumented or DACAmented.
3. Guarantee non-public funding to current and future undocumented/DACAmented students in the case that they lose their DACA status and/or their eligibility for particular campus/non-campus based scholarships.
4. Provide free legal consults to students and their families as they explore their legal options both before and after January 20, 2017, when we expect new national policies to be proposed, enacted and carried out.
5. Provide undocumented students with the option of completing their college/university degrees if they are placed into deportation proceedings or forced to seek sanctuary in a location other than their college/university campus.
6. Provide access to free mental health counselors that are specially trained in immigrant and undocumented student experiences for enrolled students.
7. Commit to a public statement of administrative policies and resources provided for undocumented students on college and university website, staff and school newsletters, admission publications, etc.
In light of the challenging time ahead for all immigrant communities, but in particular undocumented people, we as CASO members and supporters, call upon all public and private Rhode Island institutions of higher learning to come together to collaborate and put into practice the sanctuary provisions for safe places as outlined above, and to do so in a coordinated manner across the state.
- Respectfully submitted on January 5, 2017