To the Campus Community:
In March 2017, Chancellor Block took the initiative of creating an advisory council to assess the impact of rapidly changing immigration policies on our campus. The Council was charged with recommending practical strategies to maintain UCLA’s fundamental commitment to remaining an open, welcoming and genuinely global community for students and scholars of all backgrounds—to study, research, and collaborate across intellectual and international boundaries.
The Council has taken that charge extremely seriously, which is a testament to the importance of its mission. Before summarizing our efforts and results, we underscore one critical message. Through our work, we learned that many of our fellow Bruins have experienced significant anxiety caused by travel-related executive orders and the fear of escalating immigration enforcement. Their ability to study for exams, visit sick family members, conduct research, and share their findings with international scholars have all been undermined in profound ways. Regardless of our abstract views on immigration policy and the scope of executive branch power, we all came to appreciate emotionally their fundamentally human impact on members of our campus community.
The 22-person Council represents a diversity of UCLA campus leaders, including international and undocumented students, immigration scholars, legal experts, associate deans, faculty from North and South Campus, and administrators from the Undocumented Student Program and the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars. The entire Council met biweekly to share information, gather input, interview campus leadership, seek legal advice, and work to mitigate the impact of immigration policy changes on our campus now and into the future. We met, interviewed and solicited input from campus leaders including UCPD, deans, representatives of the Academic Senate, and administrators in areas ranging from financial aid to student affairs to government relations to development. During the short period from March 17 to June 15, 2017, we were able to:
- Develop an International Visitor’s Protocol for international visitors invited to our campus outlining sensible precautions and providing contact information for emergency help during transit.
- Develop a quick reference document for frontline UCLA staff and faculty if an immigration official appears and seeks access to restricted areas of campus.
- Assist the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in developing a webpage of resources on immigration policy that highlights breaking news announcements (such as recent guidance on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the travel restrictions on six countries), “know your rights” materials, guidelines for UCLA students traveling abroad, emergency preparedness kits in case of immigration enforcement, and data protection protocols for researchers traveling internationally.
- Provide feedback and assistance to the Office of the President on their FAQ related to immigration policy and enforcement.
- Provide input to the campus government relations team on our work and campus priorities related to immigration policy changes.
- Inform departments of possible impacts and emergency needs of undergraduate and graduate students from the six countries subject to travel restrictions under executive orders.
- Work together with the Undocumented Student Program to identify additional resource needs and administrative support in light of immigration policy changes.
Work together with the Office of Student Affairs to develop a comprehensive response to student-led demands, which clarified the extent to which current UC and UCLA policies already address substantive requests on behalf of international and undocumented students.
In addition to these discrete initiatives, our principal activity has been to develop a proactive list of recommendations going forward. To this end, we consulted widely with campus constituencies and collectively developed a list of recommendations focused on (1) areas that deserve more resources, including counseling and legal services for impacted students and (2) the adoption of new policies and protocols to mitigate the likely impact of immigration policy changes for particular members of our community. These recommendations will be delivered to the Chancellor and work on implementing them will be taken up by the Council in the coming academic year.
As the summer begins and we transition to research, employment, visits with family and loved ones or rest, the Co-chairs of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Immigration Policy will continue to meet with campus leadership to sustain this important work and to begin the implementation of our recommendations.
If you have questions or concerns related to changes in immigration policy and its impact on our campus community during the summer, please contact:
Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: email at WeListen@equity.ucla.edu
Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars: (310) 825-1681
Undocumented Student Program: (310) 206-2980 or (310) 794-2544
Student Legal Services: (310) 825-9894
UC Immigrant Legal Services Center: (530) 752-7996
We extend our thanks to the members of the Council—especially the student members—who have worked with care and compassion on behalf of all of us.
Professor Asli Ü. Bâli
Co-chair, Advisory Council on Immigration Policy
Professor Abel Valenzuela
Co-chair, Advisory Council on Immigration Policy
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion