Emeritus President Message on Supporting Undocumented Students

Dear Colleague,

On Feb. 14, 2017, the board of trustees passed “Resolution 5-17, Affirming Santa Rosa Junior College as a Safe Haven for Undocumented Students and Marginalized Populations.” This resolution demonstrates the college’s commitment to creating a safe learning environment for all students, free from harassment and discrimination. I am proud to be a member of our college community, which is tirelessly dedicated to the preservation of such rights, particularly at a time when those rights are under threat.

Our nation’s president very recently announced planned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids of undocumented families, only to delay the raids days later. SRJC does not anticipate any such raids on campus, but these announcements and uncertainty have caused great anxiety for many students and community members. Even though we do not consider raids likely, we as a community must acknowledge the risk and be prepared to unite in support of our students.

Below you will find SRJC’s specific protocols and procedures for supporting Undocumented students and a list of best practices for California Community Colleges (Per Senate Bill No. 54 & Assembly Bill 21). Please review these in full and be prepared to call the President’s Office at 707-527-4431 if you receive notice of immigration officials on campus.

SRJC Protocols and Procedures for Supporting Undocumented Students (Per Senate Bill No. 54, Assembly Bill 21, & SRJC Safe Haven Resolution)
  1. SRJC employees will not ask about a student’s immigration status except when required by law or for registration purposes. SRJC employees may ask about eligibility for residency based on AB540 Nonresident Tuition Exemption.
  2. If immigration officers are on campus, please notify the office of the President/Superintendent at 707-527-4431.
    1. President/Superintendent or designee will ensure the warrant is signed by a judge and contains all other required information.
    2. President/Superintendent or designee will keep a record of such investigations.
    3. Call Sonoma/Napa Rapid Response Network Hotline at 707-800-4544.
California Community Colleges Best Practices for Supporting Undocumented Students (Per Senate Bill No. 54 & Assembly Bill 21)
  1. Refrain from disclosing personal information concerning students, faculty, and staff, except under specified circumstances;
  2. Notify the office of the president, or his or her designee, as soon as possible if an immigration officer is expected to enter, or has entered, the campus to execute a federal immigration order;
  3. Notify, as soon as possible, the emergency contact of a student, faculty, or staff person if there is a reason to suspect that the person has been taken into custody as the result of an immigration enforcement action;
  4. Comply with a request from an immigration officer for access to nonpublic areas of the campus only upon a presentation of a judicial warrant, except as specified;
  5. Advise all students, faculty, and staff responding to or having contact with an immigration officer executing a federal immigration order, to promptly refer the entity or individual to the office of the chancellor or president, for purposes of verifying the legality of any warrant, court order, or subpoena;
  6. In the event that an undocumented student is detained, deported, or is unable to attend to his or her academic requirements due to the actions of an immigration officer in relation to a federal immigration order, the college or university shall make all reasonable efforts to assist the student in retaining any eligibility for financial aid, fellowship stipends, exemption from nonresident tuition fees, funding for research or other educational projects, housing stipends or services, or other benefits he or she has been awarded or received, and permit the student to be re-enrolled if and when the student is able to return to the college or university. It is the intent of the Legislature that, in implementing this paragraph, California colleges and universities make reasonable and good-faith efforts to provide for a seamless transition in a student’s re-enrollment and reacquisition of campus services and supports.
Legislature and Local Policy Supporting Undocumented Students
  1. Senate Bill No.54 which prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using money or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes, as specified, and would, subject to exceptions, proscribe other activities or conduct in connection with immigration enforcement by law enforcement agencies.
  2. Assembly Bill 21 which puts necessary protections in place, and shows it will take the necessary steps to ensure that the state’s students, faculty, staff, and the public have every opportunity to continue their education without fear or undue risk. This policy was required to be adopted and implemented by March 1, 2019.
  3. All SRJC campuses and centers are Safe Havens for undocumented students and marginalized populations. This demonstrates SRJC’s commitment to creating a safe learning environment for all, free from harassment and discrimination.

With appreciation,

Frank Chong, Ed.D.
Emeritus President/Superintendent
707-527-4431, fchong@santarosa.edu