Students and faculty gathered at Humboldt State University this evening following the news of President Trump ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
DACA is the immigration policy that was enacted during the Obama administration. The policy protects young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as kids from deportation.
The meeting was student led and centered around informing students about their rights regardless of their status and what to do if stopped by the police.
Students were given tips such as their rights to:
- Assemble and free speech
- Deny search and entry without a warrant
- Remain silent
The student facilitators also mentioned warrants must be signed by a judge and all the information on it must be correct otherwise the warrant is void. If ever presented with a warrant, careful examination is necessary. Warrants can be slid under a door or shown through a window to avoid contact (if possible).
One of the most important aspects stressed this evening was for students affected by DACA to have a plan and to memorize the phone numbers of important people such as family, lawyers, and family doctors.
Counseling services and student organizations such as Scholars Without Borders were mentioned for students needing emotional support, someone to talk to or safe spaces.
Dan Faulk, Director of the Educational Opportunity program at HSU, offered words of encouragement and support to students.
“For those of you directly affected, my heart goes out to you. This is not a good day for the United States,” Faulk stated as he stood amidst a sea of students.
“There are many things, however, not affected by DACA. Your status as an HSU student remains unchanged,” he assured students.
Dr. W. Wayne Brumfield, the current interim Vice President of Student Affairs, offered insight on how the university can work to assist students.
“The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students from the release of records. However, 67% of schools in this country release records without student consent,” Dr. Brumfield relayed to students and faculty present.
“There are protections in place, I think we as an institution have to be smart to use our record laws to protect our students,” Brumfield said.
Students were also warned to make sure they avoid negative contact with police and are careful to not break any laws during this time.
“I don’t want to alarm anyone by saying this but I want to share something with you all. One of my students at New Paltz got a DWI and within 24 hours that student was being deported. I just want to caution you, be careful about where you go right now until we can get better information at our disposal to disseminate,” Brumfield cautioned.
According to an article published by The Lumberjack April 2017:
“HSU has 68 undocumented students currently attending the university. However, this number could be higher due to students not wishing to disclose their citizenship status.”