Undocumented Student Resources


Message from President Steve Morgan

Dear members of the Westminster Community,

Statements made during the recent presidential campaign have prompted fear and anxiety with regard to immigration status among undocumented students, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) students, and all other vulnerable groups. These fears and concerns are real, and as President of Westminster, I want nothing more than to protect each and every member of our campus community—to provide a safe environment where everyone can pursue their educational goals and lead meaningful lives.

Read the Full Message from President Steve Morgan

What Do I Need to Know if the DACA Program Ends?

Westminster College Resources and Contacts

Westminster Contact

Dan Cairo
Director for Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion
Bassis Student Center
diversity@westminstercollege.edu

Community and National Resources and Partners

FAQs

What is the future of undocumented immigrants?

The honest answer is that we do not know what will happen. However, we do know that we are committed to supporting students and their learning. We understand that students and their families have concerns during this time. Our goal is to ensure that none of our students fall victim to intimidation and know that they are valued members of the Westminster College community.

We encourage prospective students to still consider Westminster College as an option and to move forward with applying for college.

My DACA is expiring in the next few months, should I renew?

Given the uncertainty of changes in policy, students should consult with an immigration attorney on what is the next best step. Please see the Student Diversity & Inclusion Center for more information.

Where do I go if DACA or TPS is revoked?

Because every situation is unique, visit Dan Cairo, director for the Student Diversity and Inclusion Center. The Center can direct you to the offices and resources available depending on how you are impacted (e.g., financial aid, employment, etc.). You may also contact the Center at 801.832.2806 or diversity@westminstercollege.edu.

How will Westminster protect the well-being of undocumented students?

President Steve Morgan has articulated in his statement how the concept of “sanctuary” is lived and expected through Westminster’s Core Values. As an institution, we are committed to learning more about any changes in DACA policies, collecting information and resources on local agencies and contacts, and supporting our students’ learning and success as referenced in our College-Wide Learning Goals. We will put forth concerted efforts to protect and support our campus community while complying with the law. Our core value—social responsibility—means that what impacts one of us impacts us all.

What happens in terms of enrollment or completing a course if a student is detained for an extended period of time or are unable to re-enter the United States due to an executive order, law, or policy?

Students should contact a) the faculty member(s) of the course(s) for which they are currently enrolled [or will be enrolled if between terms] and b) the dean of the school for which they are a student. In the event of limited communication, be sure to inform another party who may be able to inform or alert Westminster.

Will Westminster participate in the “deputizing of campus police” by the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement?

No. Westminster does not have a campus police system through which individuals can be deputized. Our campus patrol operate in civilian roles and are here to ensure the safety of our campus.

What is Westminster doing in response to existing and proposed executive orders, legislation, and law cases?

Like many, we are unsure of what may be final outcomes or decisions; this is a fluid and ongoing process. However, a team of Westminster administrators (e.g., Office of the President, General Council, Student Affairs, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Office of the Provost) and offices (Student Diversity and Inclusion Center, Dean of Students, and Office of Global Engagement) have been continuously monitoring new developments, convening with experts, and ascertaining resources and contacts so we may be the most supportive and informative to our campus. If any individual has concerns or questions, please contact or visit Dan Cairo (listed above) in the Student Diversity & Inclusion Center (re: Undocumented or DACA Status Questions or Resources) or Sara Demko or Alison Vasquez in the Office of Global Engagement (re: Immigration, Non-Immigrant, Visa Status Questions), located in Walker Hall One (next to Hogle Hall).

What if I experience or witness discrimination or bias?

We want to know about it. The College is committed to providing a safe and non-discriminatory environment as supported by our Equal Opportunity and Title IX polices. Please report any incident (by an employee, student, or third-party) to an equal opportunity representative: Jason Schwartz-Johnson (jsj@westminstercollege.edu) and Julie Freestone (jfreestone@westminstercollege.edu).

Are there resources or a website related specifically to immigrant and non-immigrant status or traveling abroad?

Because of the unique nature of this matter, the Office of Global Engagement can offer information to specific situations or scenarios on a case-by-case basis.

How can I support Westminster Students?

Ensure that students know of this page—Westminster College and Community Resources for Undocumented Students. We recognize that this may be a difficult time for members of our campus community. If you encounter students in emotional distress, please utilize the Supporting Students in Emotional Distress guide for faculty and staff and/or submit a Retention Alert if you are noticing issues related class attendance or behavior. You can learn more about this topic by reading an issue brief from the American Council on Education.

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