Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is LMU’s position regarding undocumented students?
In accordance with LMU’s Catholic, Jesuit/Marymount identity and mission, we are committed foundationally to the dignity and divine image of all persons, without distinction based upon nationality or documentation status. We form students who seek to find God in all things and in all persons; who identify with those living on the margins of society; who grow in a personal sense of faith that does justice; and who become women and men for and with others, undertaking meaningful work for transformative social change.
In practice, LMU’s ongoing commitments to our undocumented students include the following:
a. We do not and will not tolerate unwelcome or harassing conduct based on nationality, religion, citizenship or documentation status.
b. We will protect the rights of our international and undocumented students to the fullest extent of the law, including the privacy of their information and records, and their ability to attend LMU without regard to immigration status.
c. We will offer our international and undocumented students the support of our campus ministries, our Student Affairs offices, our student health and counseling services, our Office for International Students and Scholars, the legal resources available through our Law School, and other services at our disposal. We will strengthen partnerships with Church and nonprofit organizations that have complementary missions and resources.
d. We will continue to advocate publicly for every LMU student, including our international and undocumented students, and in particular, for retention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, which enriches the diversity of experiences and insights shared by students in our classrooms and our campus life, while also enriching the prospects for the economic health of the United States.
e. We will actively promote research and intellectual engagement with questions of law, policy, and justice related to international migration.
f. LMU has been, is, and will remain an inclusive environment in which all persons are welcome and in which all ideas are engaged with civility and zeal for open dialogue.
2. Can LMU prevent federal immigration enforcement officers from coming on campus or entering classrooms, offices, residence halls or other University property?
While LMU is a private university and its campus is private property, during normal operations its campus is generally open to the public. However, in many spaces on LMU’s campus, public access is limited because of privacy concerns, safety considerations and operational needs.
LMU employees are not required to affirmatively assist federal immigration authorities or grant permission to enter private or limited access spaces when officers do not have a judicial warrant to enter the area, and LMU employees are instructed to refer all such access requests directly to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) who, in turn, is required to seek guidance from University Counsel to understand whether the University is legally required to grant the requested access.
3. What federal immigration enforcement officers might seek access to campus and what authority do they have? What should I do if I encounter or become aware of the presence of federal immigration officials on campus?
The immigration officers who seek to apprehend and remove (or “deport”) an individual unlawfully present in the United States are most often officers of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers could also seek to apprehend and remove individuals in some instances. These ICE and CBP officers work for the Department of Homeland Security and they are typically acting on civil, not criminal, authority. The warrants these officers carry to apprehend individuals are generally administrative warrants that do not authorize officers to enter limited access areas of the University without consent. It is the University’s policy to withhold consent.
In some cases, ICE and CBP officers may be exercising criminal enforcement powers or may work with criminal law enforcement officers who may present a criminal arrest or search warrant that gives them greater (and lawful) authority to enter University premises that are not open to the public. Execution of judicial warrants do not require University consent. This is among the reasons why all such law enforcement requests should be directed to DPS who will review the legal bases for the request with University Counsel.
It should be noted that ICE and CBP officers might appear on campus for reasons completely unrelated to apprehending and removing an individual they believe is unlawfully present in the United States. It is a mistake to assume that any ICE or CBP employee visiting campus is present to apprehend or remove a member of the LMU community. False rumors about ICE or CBP enforcement actions on campus can spread anxiety and panic. If you observe ICE or CBP employees on campus and have concerns about their activities, call DPS.
4. Will the Department of Public Safety work with immigration officers to apprehend and remove individuals from campus?
LMU is required to comply with its legal obligations. LMU is not required, and its policy is not, to work voluntarily with ICE or CBP officers to apprehend and remove individuals alleged to be unlawfully in the United States.
Should circumstances arise in which ICE or CBP possesses the appropriate authorization or warrant to lawfully conduct enforcement activities on campus, DPS may, and likely will, be called in to prevent injuries or property damage. In addition, where other federal, state or city law enforcement agencies have reason to pursue criminal suspects on campus, DPS may cooperate with those efforts to enforce criminal laws.
5. What should I do if a federal immigration officer presents me with a warrant or subpoena for personally identifiable private FERPA protected information or records about a student or employee?
If you are presented with a warrant, subpoena, request for personally identifiable student information, or any paper by a federal immigration enforcement officer or any law enforcement officer, you should inform the officer that you are not obstructing their process but that you are required to direct them to make their inquiry/request of DPS who will consult with University Counsel and respond.
Federal immigration enforcement officers and law enforcement officers generally have no greater access to student records or University employment records than any other member of the public unless they have a valid subpoena.