Sac State President Says Campus is a Safe Place for Undocumented Students

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SACRAMENTO — Students on campus at Sac State have a lot to worry about this time of year — exams and papers.

What they don’t have to worry about is their immigration status.

“It is a place that is safe for undocumented students and all students,” said Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen.

The chancellor of the California State University system has instructed all campus police departments not to honor requests from the federal government to put suspects on 48-hour immigration holds and not to arrest anyone on suspicion of being here illegally.

“There’s no real shift here,” Nelsen said. “We’re following the policies that we’ve always followed. We don’t arrest undocumented students. We’re not going to arrest undocumented students. We don’t support turning over undocumented students.”

It’s the same in the city of Sacramento, which became a sanctuary city by resolution back in 1985.

“We will work with the new president wherever we can, and we will fight him where we must. And when it comes to assuring people in our community, the dreamers… the hard-working people… we’re going to stand with you,” said Sacramento’s Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg.

But whether you like he idea of sanctuary or you don’t, the reality is, here in Sacramento, it stops at the front door of the county jail.

In a statement Thursday, Sheriff Scott Jones reiterated his policy on sanctuary, saying that while Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies don’t serve as immigration enforcement themselves, they do cooperate with their “ICE partners” and they do allow them to carry out their mission in the county jail.

Bear in mind, the county jail is the only jail in the area. That’s where everyone who’s arrested here goes — whether they are arrested in Sacramento County, on campus at Sac State or in the city limits of Sacramento.

“Whether or not the city of Sacramento represents itself as a sanctuary city has no bearing on this cooperation,”Jones said in his statement.

“We’re going to have to really sit down and talk about this. And as a city, we’re going to do everything we can to reassure people — to protect people. We’re going to work with Sacramento State, our community colleges,” Steinberg said.

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