By Victor Valladares; Staff Writer
Since President Donald Trump took control of of- fice, Immigration and Cus- toms Enforcement (ICE) agents throughout the country have increased the deportation of un- documented immigrants through policy changes as well as executive orders that have granted ICE agents the authority to arrest and detain undocu- mented immigrants in an increased capacity starting January 2017.
Due to these new changes in the policy of our government, many un- documented members of our communities as well as students protected under the Dream Act have voiced their concern about the safety of their future.
Here in Los Angeles Harbor College, which houses a Dreamers pro-
“We cannot [however] stop gram, the concern that Immigration and Customs Enforcement could come onto campus and arrest
them; they are law enforcement so we cannot stop them.” these students has at some point been raised.
– Deputy Sheriff Guskos
Although our cam- pus and administration has firmly committed to protecting it’s student’s the question remains, how likely is it that ICE will come onto campus?
According to Deputy Sheriff Guskos, “It’s unlikely for them to just randomly come onto campus to ar- rest individuals, the school has a designated protocol they have to follow if
“We protect our students to make sure they have a safe environment…If ICE does come, we will not give any information and refuse to give out information about our students.” – VP of Student Affairs Luis Dorado
Protesters at a rally in Downtown Los Angeles. Due to recent anti-immigrant sentiment, various protests and rally’s have sprung around the controversial topic. Photo by Steven Guzman
that situation occurs. The agency needs to speak to the president first [and] from there he will call the Sheriffs and figure out the situation or what it is they want.”
However, although unlikely for them to randomly arrive on campus Deputy Sheriff Guskos continued, “We cannot [, however,] stop them; they are law enforcement so we cannot stop them, but we will ask them what they are doing…they’re going to be already looking for a specific individual or individuals that have an order of arrest.”
Campus police and the campus administration may not be able to law- fully stop any ICE agents coming onto campus if they have an arrest war- rant for certain individuals.
With regards to his department Sheriff Guskos commented, “ICE has never ever come onto [our] campus [and we have never] had any issues. The sheriff’s department will have nothing to do or par- take with ICE[‘s] activities.” With the campus po- lice’s firm statement, what
about the administration? Vice President of Stu- dent Affairs, Luis Dorado said, “We do not work with ICE and do not partake in any [of ] ICE’s activities whatsoever, we protect our students to make sure they have a safe environment… If ICE does come we will not give any information and refuse to give out any information of our students.”
With our campus standing behinds it’s students we must now turn to immigration attorneys in order to further under- stand if ICE coming onto our campus can even happen at all.
When asked how likely and if ICE can come onto a college campus, immigration attorney David M. Paz said, “[ICE] will try to avoid arresting individuals in sensitive locations but if they want to they could arrest them at that location, they have the power to do that, but I haven’t heard lately of any school get- ting raid or any students getting arrested in school,” Paz said. According to the immigration and customs policy, policy number I 0029.2 states;
“schools including preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools up to and including colleges and universities, and other institutions of learning such as vocational or trade schools, hospitals, church- es, synagogues, mosques
or other institutions of worship, such as buildings rented for the purpose of religious services, the site of a funeral, wedding, or other public religious ceremony;,and a site during the occurrence of a public demonstration, such as a march, rally or parade are considered as sensitive locations.”
At a recent school event, President Otto Lee told students that they were guaranteed safety while attending Harbor College and that safety will never leave this campus.
Lee also mentioned he understands that there are new federal changes, but pledges to not participate or give out any information to any customs and border official.
Student’s opinions on the matter also see to fall in line with the overall campus’ stance on the matter.
Philip Withlow, 21, undecided, said, “They need to improve on how they arrest the individual,
a better place to arrest where there is privacy and not open in the public. If they came into my class during lecture to arrest a classmate I would be mad and upset that we are no longer safe on campus, violating our rights lie if they don’t matter.”
Luis Mendoza, 20, Sociology, said “It’s not right to deport students who come from other countries that wanna learn the [and obtain the] great education we have, ever person has a right to attend any school they want without having to deal with government issues that they shouldn’t have to deal with.”While our campus has a clear stance with regards to the immigration status and safety of it’s students when asked if Harbor has felt an impact after the new policy changes the president’s administration has established Vice President of Student Affairs, Luis Dorado said,“Yes, we have lost some students this year due to many reasons, some are afraid to attend school due to the ICE deportations that are going on.”