By Dorany Pineda
The Los Angeles Community College District released a set of guidelines for students, staff and faculty in the event that federal immigration officials are seen on campus or request student information.
The “Know Your Rights” web page is comprised of a set of do’s and dont’s if one encounters an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, details on the district’s protocol if officials request access to the campus and links to community resources.
“The constant training and workshops to educate faculty, staff and students, like the ‘Know Your Rights’ guidelines, is empowering,” program coordinator for the Dream Resource Center Reyna Hernandez said. We’re supporting each other. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and by providing factual information and resources, we’re empowering our community.”
A wallet-sized card that contains phone numbers and links students can refer to was also created.
The resources include a hotline number where questions and concerns can be directed, the contact information for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and others.
The Blue Card, as it’s being called, has details about an individual’s rights should he or she be approached by an ICE agent. One half of the card has a “do’s and don’t’s” guideline and is for the student to keep.
The other half is meant to be torn off and given to an ICE officer. It states the person’s rights to remain silent, refuse to sign or show any documents and deny an agent entry into their home or search their belongings.
Hernandez said that ELAC is working on a Blue Card of its own that will soon be mass produced and be available all over campus. According to the web page, federal immigration officials generally avoid “enforcement actions at sensitive locations.” These locations include learning programs and institutions such as pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. Furthermore, the website specifies that “an enforcement action under this policy guidance includes any action taken by ICE.”
This includes any interactions with students, faculty or staff, for any purposes.
The “Know Your Rights” guidelines come as a direct response to President Donald Trump’s tightened immigration policies that targets millions of undocumented in the country.
The Trump Administration specified that ICE raids would only target immigrants with criminal and misdemeanor records. So the chances of seeing ICE agents on campus, Hernandez said, is slim.
Hernandez also spoke about the ELAC Safe Zone coalition, whose objective is to create safe space on campus for undocumented and LGBTQ people.
“We are a group of over 100 allies who wear a lanyard that has a safe zone butterfly,” Hernandez said. “This indicates to students that they are safe with us, that they can find information and resources from us and we’ll help in any way possible.”
Paredes said it’s really important that students feel welcome and comfortable on campus. She encourages students to use the resources the school offers to become self advocates.
For the “Know Your Rights” guidelines, visit: http://services. laccd.edu/districtsite/kyr/index. html.