School issues warning about 'rumors' of ICE agents on campus

  • Western Washington University assured students on Wednesday that "ICE is not currently conducting operations on our campus" after rumors to the contrary sparked "concerns."
  • The email encouraged students to contact campus police if they see anyone they "believe to be an ICE agent, noting that WWU has a policy against sharing information about the immigration status of students unless required by law.

Western Washington University (WWU) is urging students to contact the school’s police department if they happen to spot an immigration enforcement official on campus.

In an email obtained by Campus Reform, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services Melynda Huskey sent out a memo to the students on Wednesday in an attempt to address concerns about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

"Such rumors can be frightening and disruptive for our entire community, as students may fear for their own safety or the safety of others."   

[RELATED: Berkeley students panic after ICE vehicle spotted on campus]

“This afternoon, concerns have been circulating that perhaps Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have been active on our campus today,” she wrote. “Such rumors can be frightening and disruptive for our entire community, as students may fear for their own safety or the safety of others.”

According to the email, however, the university police chief had confirmed “that ICE is not currently conducting operations on our campus.”

Huskey then went on to reiterate the school’s policy toward ICE and other immigration agencies, stressing that “our policy continues to be that Western does not enforce federal immigration law, nor does it undertake efforts with federal immigration authorities to investigate, detain, or arrest individuals.”

“Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or other third-party officials may not remove or interrogate a Western student or employee without a valid warrant signed by a judge,” she continued. “If you see a person whom you believe to be an ICE agent, please contact the University Police Department/Public Safety Office…”

[RELATED: College trains students to ‘document immigration raids’]

The school’s “Interim Policy” referenced by Huskey states that federal immigration officials must have a warrant to access non-public portions of student educational records, and notes that university employees “shall not collect information about immigration status [of students] unless required by law.” 

Even when presented with a valid warrant, moreover, the policy dictates that “employees are to immediately notify the Univeristy’s [sic] Director of Public Safety and Assistant Attorney General’s Office of any request by ICE, [Customs and Border Patrol], or other third party officerials [sic] seeking access to non-public portions of the University campus or student educational records.”

The university’s email comes in the wake of nationwide debate over immigration and President Trump’s call to tighten U.S. border security operations. Earlier this week, a caravan of about 200 migrants gathered on the Mexico border with California, seeking to gain entry into the U.S. 

WWU did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment. 

Follow this author on Facebook: Nikita Vladimirov and Twitter: @nikvofficial

Get exclusive access to breaking CampusReform stories as they happen. Sign up below and we'll keep you in the loop.
 Weekly Digest

 Daily Emails

Nikita Vladimirov
Nikita Vladimirov | Correspondents Editor

Nikita Vladimirov is a Correspondents Editor for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. A 2016 national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' "Mark of Excellence Award," Nikita now resides in Washington D.C. and contributes to the Washington Examiner. His work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by leading media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Defense and many others.

20 Articles by Nikita Vladimirov