Students walking to class

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA")

DACA was created by order of Homeland Security. On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration rescinded the order. According to The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, the USCIS will no longer accept initial requests for DACA, but will adjudicate initial requests for DACA accepted by September 5, 2017. The USCIS will only adjudicate DACA renewal requests received by October 5, 2017 from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.  

Miami University has long supported DACA. On September 5, 2017, President Crawford posted the University's response to the DACA announcement on President Crawford's website. Former President Hodge sent a letter in June of 2013 to Senator Sherrod Brown urging support and expansion of the DREAM Act. Last spring, President Crawford joined with other presidents of Ohio’s public universities in a letter to U.S. Senators Brown and Portman urging continued support for DACA.  DACA students are eligible for in-state tuition via a 2013 memorandum from the Ohio Board of Regents (now known as Ohio Department of Higher Education).[1]

[1]  July 31, 2013 Memorandum from Michelle Chevanne, Assistant General Counsel, Ohio Board of Regents

Questions and Answers

Q: What support does Miami University offer to undocumented students?

A: Miami admits students regardless of their immigration status and will continue to do so.

Miami University is committed to the success of all our students without regard to citizenship, national origin, race, ethnicity or other characteristic that makes them unique.  Students receive access to all campus services regardless of immigration status, including an ID card; confidential counseling through Student Counseling Center; medical services through the Student Health Center; academic support through the Rinella Learning Center and our regional campus learning Assistance Centers; and all other University programs and services.

Many other offices within the Division of Student Affairs, including Residential Life and the Dean of Students Office, also offer support services in the context of the student experience. The Office of Diversity Affairs on the Oxford Campus and the Office of Multicultural Services on the regional campuses support underrepresented students, including undocumented students.

Miami classifies qualifying undocumented students who reside in the state of Ohio as in-state students for tuition purposes as permitted under Ohio law.  Out-of-state students, regardless of their immigration status, are charged out-of-state rates.

 

Q: What is DACA?

A: DACA is a federal program that permits persons who were brought into the United States illegally as children (under 16) and have lived in the US for at least five years to obtain deferred action status.[2] This order permits persons to provide documentation and pay a fee that will enable them to work or go to school. DACA status protects holders from being placed in deportation proceedings. Approximately 800,000 persons have been granted DACA temporary status.

[2]  https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2012/08/15/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-who-can-be-considered

Q: I am a DACA student. What changes can I expect?

A: It is important that DACA students work closely with personal immigration counsel to take all reasonable precautions as related to their personal circumstances. For resources to help find immigration legal assistance, please see https://www.immigrationlawhelp.org.

In general, and in accordance with the information currently available, DACA students should not expect any aspect of their engagement with Miami University to change.

If you are a DACA student in an academic program that requires employment authorization to complete elements of your program, such as a paid internship, you should monitor developments related to your employment authorization closely. In the event that DACA students lose employment authorization, Miami will take reasonable steps to accommodate affected students in the completion of their studies or explore alternate requirements or courses of study as appropriate. If DACA graduate students were to lose their employment authorization, they could not continue to hold paid Graduate Assistantship positions.

Q: I am a DACA student. Can I study or travel abroad?

A: Unfortunately, no. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will no longer approve advance parole requests associated with DACA. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services is not recommending that DACA students with approved Advance Parole depart the United States.

It is also important to understand the authority of Customs and Border Protection agents. CBP officers have authority under the law to perform a search of individuals and their possessions at ports of entry.  CBP is authorized to seize devices (telephones and computers) and hold them for inspection. Our understanding is that if a person refuses to grant access to a CBP agent the device can be seized and held by CBP.

Q: I am a Miami University faculty or staff member. What should I do if an immigration enforcement agent contacts me requesting information about a student?

A: All Miami University faculty and staff members are reminded to adhere to all applicable laws and university policies, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Pursuant to FERPA, the education records of all students, regardless of immigration status, are protected from disclosure to outside parties. This includes students’ addresses, class schedules, information on their family members, information on immigration status, and similar information.

Pursuant to our FERPA Policy,  the University cannot release information from student education records to outside parties, including federal agents, without permission from the student, a judicial warrant, a subpoena, a court order or as otherwise permitted by law.

It is important to remember, however, that there are many reasons why federal agents may contact Miami University or be on campus, including routine compliance matters connected to the University’s normal operations. The Department of Homeland Security and its enforcement agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have broad authority, and Miami routinely cooperates with them on many matters not connected with undocumented students. For example, federal immigration officials may contact Miami staff or come to campus in connection with our international student visa sponsorship or faculty /staff work authorization.

Residence Life staff are not required to provide immigration agents with access to residence halls unless they have a valid criminal warrant issued by a court.  

If a federal official approaches a faculty or staff member seeking information about a student or seeking to serve a search warrant about a student, those employees must comply with FERPA and should contact the Office of the General Counsel (513-529-6734) for further guidance.

Q: What is the Miami University Police Department’s protocol concerning questioning and apprehending individuals based upon immigration status?

A: Miami Police want all individuals to feel comfortable reporting a crime, cooperating with police or reaching out to the police for assistance.  Miami University Police do not question individuals about their immigration status and do not detain someone solely because they cannot provide proof of legal residency.  Miami Police do not contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding any person, unless that person is arrested on a criminal charge as required by law.

Several other law enforcement agencies also have jurisdiction to enforce the law on Miami’s public campuses. These include, but are not limited to the State Highway Patrol, Butler County Sheriff, Oxford City Police, the Hamilton Police Department and the Middletown Police Department.  The University has no authority or control over other law enforcement agencies.

Q: Should undocumented students fear being apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement while on campus?

A: While there is great uncertainty at this time, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a directive to its field agents on October 11, 2011 restricting them (generally) from conducting enforcement actions at or focused on sensitive locations, which includes colleges and universities.  The memo states in part that:

The enforcement actions covered by this policy are (1) arrests; (2) interviews; (3) searches; and (4) for purposes of immigration enforcement only, surveillance.  Actions not covered by this policy include actions such as obtaining records, documents and similar materials from officials or employees, providing notice to officials or employees, serving subpoenas, engaging in Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) compliance and certification visits, or participating in official functions or community meetings.[3]

There has never been large-scale immigration enforcement on U.S. campuses," Stephen Yale-Loehr, Professor of Immigration Practice at Cornell University told Mashable, citing a yet-to-be-published article he wrote with Dan Berger.  "There have been individual actions.  Therefore, it is not clear what form such action might take, and what kind of court challenges would be successful."[4]

The University will advocate that this ICE policy continue, but such matters are beyond the University’s control.  Miami’s public spaces are open to the general public and the University does not have the ability to bar federal enforcement officials from the University’s public spaces. We have no information that indicates that ICE is planning to come to Miami University or Oxford to conduct an immigration raid. 

Residential spaces such as on-campus apartments and residence hall rooms are considered private, and federal enforcement officials are not permitted in such spaces absent a valid criminal warrant or consent from the resident. An administrative warrant alone does not permit ICE officials to enter private, residential spaces absent consent.

[3]  https://www.ice.gov/doclib/ero-outreach/pdf/10029.2-policy.pdf 

[4]  http://mashable.com/2016/12/13/sanctuary-campus-movement-struggling/#r08674pJAiq3

Q: What if an undocumented student is subject to an order of removal from the United States?

A: Miami University has no legal ability to intervene in immigration court proceedings if a member of our community is detained or subject to an order of removal. Immigration court proceedings are federal administrative hearings.  Faculty and staff may write letters and conduct other advocacy in support of the student to be submitted to the immigration judge for consideration during the removal hearing in the immigration court.

In the unfortunate event a student was to be subjected to removal from the United States, Miami will support and take steps to ease the student’s transition.  Such steps and support will depend upon the individual student, his or her academic program and progress, and resources abroad, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Such support may include, but is not limited to, providing expedited readmission if the student can return to Miami; helping place the student with a foreign institution and guiding the student in continuing his or her studies through distance learning when available in the program of study.  Miami administrators and academic advisors will work with the student individually to assess practical options and the best path forward.

Q: What more can I do?

A: Anyone who wishes to express a viewpoint on any state or federal policy or action may contact their elected representatives.  Miami’s state representatives, state senator and Congressional representatives and Ohio’s Senators are:

Oxford
Government Body Name Phone Email Address
State Representative Candice Keller 614.644.5094 rep53@ohiohouse.gov
State Senate Bill Coley 614.466.8072 coley@ohiosenate.gov
US Representative Warren Davidson 202.225.6205 (DC) 937.339.1524 (District) https://davidson.house.gov/contact/email
MU-Hamilton
Government Body Name Phone Email Address
State Representative Margaret Conditt 614.466.8550 rep52@ohiohouse.gov
State Senate Bill Coley 614.466.8072 coley@ohiosenate.gov
US Representative Warren Davidson 202.225.6205 (DC) 937.339.1524 (District) https://davidson.house.gov/contact/email
MU-Middletown
Government Body Name Phone Email Address
State Representative Candice Keller 614.644.5094 rep53@ohiohouse.gov
State Senate Bill Coley 614.466.8072 coley@ohiosenate.gov
US Representative Warren Davidson 202.225.6205 (DC) 937.339.1524 (District) https://davidson.house.gov/contact/email
VOA Learning Center
Government Body Name Phone Email Address
State Representative Margaret Conditt 614.466.8550 rep52@ohiohouse.gov
State Senate Bill Coley 614.466.8072 coley@ohiosenate.gov
US Representative Warren Davidson 202.225.6205 (DC) 937.339.1524 (District) https://davidson.house.gov/contact/email
Statewide
Government Body Name Phone Email Address
Governor John Kasich 614.466.3555 http://www.governor.ohio.gov/Contact/ContacttheGovenor
Lt Governor Mary Taylor 614.644.0935 -
US Senate Rob Portman 202.224.2315 (DC) https://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=contact-form
US Senate Sherrod Brown 202.224.3353 (DC) https://www.brown.senate.gov/contact/

Sanctuary Petition

On November 30, 2016, Miami University received a petition signed by approximately 350 faculty, staff, students, and alumni, requesting that the University declare itself a "sanctuary campus." In response, a Sanctuary Petition Working Group was formed to investigate the issue and report their findings.

Their examination, as well as concluding statements of affirmation and future plans, are outlined in Sanctuary Petition Response addressed to the Miami University Community.