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Chabot, Las Positas colleges declared sanctuary campuses
Posted by East Bay Times on December 6, 2017

HAYWARD — Chabot and Las Positas colleges are now both sanctuary campuses.

Chabot-Las Positas Community College District trustees, by a 6-0 vote, designated both campuses as sanctuary sites Tuesday, a move championed for months by governing faculty, classified employee and student boards at the two colleges.

“This is extremely important for our students, and many people say it’s symbolic, but symbols really matter; symbols really transcend into creating actual policies,” Chabot College student trustee Juliet Garcia said at the board meeting.

Trustee Donald “Dobie” Gelles was absent and did not vote. Fellow trustee Marshall Mitzman said he would like to see the two resolutions merged to create a district-wide designation.

The designation for each campus was approved individually, because Chabot and Las Positas colleges submitted separate sanctuary campus resolutions for the board to consider.

Both resolutions call on the colleges to reject the use of monitoring or registry tools based on religion, national origin, race, sexual orientation or disability, as well as deny calls to detain students or employees “based on suspected undocumented immigration status” or provide access to them.

The colleges also should refuse voluntary requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement “to seek out and deport students, faculty, staff and community members” or release personal student information, including immigration status data, without consent or appropriate legal orders.

“For me, the action before us is very simple: We need to show our support for our students and reaffirm our values and commitment to the students,” trustee Edralin Maduli said before casting his vote.

Last year’s presidential election and decisions made this year by Donald Trump’s administration “has had a profound impact on our students as well as the climate of our campus and community,” campus counselor Katie Messina Silva said.

“Many students feel reluctant to come forward and seek help or take advantage of other resources that do still exist,” she said.

In particular, Trump’s decision to rescind the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, for those brought to the United States illegally as children has left many Chabot College students feeling “nervous, worried, hopeless and extremely uncertain about what the future holds for them,” Messina Silva said.

DACA temporarily delayed deportation proceedings for people who entered the United States illegally before they were 16 years old, lived in the United States since June 2007 and do not pose a safety risk.

The Department of Homeland Security program allowed beneficiaries to apply for and receive work permits, and to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad.

“They (students) need to know that they can attend classes and feel safe on campus without worrying that an ICE agent may come look for them at school, or that their information may be shared,” Messina Silva said.

“Our students, faculty, staff and administrators are well aware of the limitations of a sanctuary resolution, and students understand that it does not provide complete protection, but it does make a clear statement of support, and it absolutely strengthens our ability to implement the clear campus policies, protocols and support outlined in our resolution,” she said.

California Community Colleges Board of Governors representative Alexander Walker-Griffin, of Hercules, said standing by undocumented students is simply “the right thing to do.”

“Right now, in the America that we live in, an education is the only opportunity to build a bridge that separates the past from the present; it changes our futures,” Walker-Griffin said.


Original article is available at