DACA protest
Demonstrators chanted in support of the undocumented community in front of Congressman Salud Carbajal's office earlier this month. Chris Gateley/Mustang News

The University Police Department (UPD) published a training manual

Sept. 5 for its officers regarding updated policies on undocumented immigrants. This followed the announcement that President Trump plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that allows individuals who illegally entered the United States as minors deferred action from deportation.

The policy

Within the policy, UPD states that the enforcement of federal immigration law is not within the primary jurisdiction of university law enforcement. Further, the policy states that UPD will not enter into agreements with other agencies to enforce federal immigration law unless required by law.

“The University Police Department will not honor [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] immigration hold requests, unless doing so is consistent with California Government Code…” UPD said. “Individuals will not be contacted, detained, questioned, or arrested solely on the basis of being or suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, except as required by law.”

However, this does not apply to certain undocumented immigrants as required by California Government Code §§7282.5.An immigration hold request may be honored by UPD if an individual falls under the following categories:

  1. Has been convicted of a misdemeanor within the past five years or of a felony at any time;
  2. Is brought before a magistrate and charged with a felony;
  3. Has an outstanding federal felony arrest warrant;
  4. Is a registered sex offender or arsonist.

Further, if an individual is booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail, they are subject to county law enforcement procedures regarding undocumented immigration. However, the SLO County Sheriff’s Office stated earlier this year that it is not in the business of enforcing federal immigration law.

Federal agencies will be restricted from making use of Cal Poly’s campus for immigration enforcement.

“[Immigration and Customs Enforcement] will not be permitted to use campus facilities for immigration enforcement purposes unless mandated by court order or to provide emergency safety needs,” UPD said.

In its policy, UPD instructs its officers to not attempt to determine the immigration status of a crime victim or witness.

“Members shall not record any information regarding an individual’s immigration status, citizenship status or country of birth, including when interviewing victims or witnesses except as related to U-VISA/T-VISA Nonimmigrant Status unless such information is relevant evidence in a criminal case,” UPD said.

In such a situation where an officer must determine the identity of an individual, a PolyCard issued by Cal Poly is considered a valid form of identification, according to the policy.

“All individuals, regardless of their immigration status, should feel secure that contacting law enforcement in times of crisis or to report suspicious or criminal activity will not make them vulnerable to deportation,” UPD said.

According to UPD, its Training Sergeant will be tasked with training all UPD officers to understand and implement its immigration policy.

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