Immigration FAQ for UC Employees

We know that many members of the University of California community are concerned about immigration enforcement actions occurring across the country and have asked about the possibility that enforcement actions could occur at UC. This FAQ responds to your questions and provides information about how to respond in such a situation. Please keep in mind that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies are in transition; we may update this guidance as warranted.

What federal immigration enforcement officers might seek access to the campus, and what authority do they have?

The immigration officers who seek to apprehend and remove (or “deport”) an individual unlawfully present in the United States are most often officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who are part of the agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers could also seek to apprehend and remove individuals on certain campuses. These ICE and CBP officers work for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and they are typically acting on civil, not criminal, authority. The warrants these officers carry to apprehend individuals are generally administrative warrants that do not authorize officers to enter limited access areas of the University without consent.
In some cases, ICE and CBP officers may be exercising criminal enforcement powers or may work with criminal law enforcement officers who may present a criminal arrest or search warrant that gives them greater authority to enter UC premises that are not open to the general public. Execution of judicial warrants does not require consent.
ICE and CBP officers may appear on campus for reasons unrelated to apprehending and removing an individual they believe is unlawfully present in the United States. For example, many international students participate in the U.S. State Department’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). The University is required to report certain information about SEVP students to ICE, and ICE may come to UC campuses to meet with SEVP students and /or University staff who have responsibilities under the SEVP program. ICE and CBP may also come on campus in connection with regulations that do not involve alleged immigration violations. It is a mistake to assume that any ICE employee visiting campus is present to apprehend or remove a member of the UC community. False rumors about ICE enforcement actions on campus can spread anxiety and panic. If you observe ICE employees on campus and have concerns about their activities, call Campus Police.