Policies Interacting with Immigration Officers on Campus

California state laws govern how employers and how schools that participate in the Cal Grant program are to interact with federal immigration officers who seek to execute a federal immigration order on campus. Among other things, the laws require that except as otherwise required by federal law, an employer or a person acting on behalf of the employer shall not provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of a place of labor. This does not apply if the immigration enforcement agent provides a judicial warrant.

In accordance with these state laws:

  • All students, faculty, and staff are obligated to notify Campus Safety as soon as possible if he or she becomes aware that an immigration officer is expected to enter, or has entered, the campus to execute a federal immigration order.
  • All students, faculty, and staff are obligated to promptly refer to Campus Safety any immigration officer who comes to campus to execute a federal immigration order.
  • The following people have been designated as points of contact for those who have questions about their immigration rights or who may be subject to immigration actions

Please note that the college will:

  • Have Campus Safety verify the legality of any warrant, court order, or subpoena.
  • Comply with an immigration officer’s request for access to nonpublic areas once the officer presents a legally valid judicial warrant.
  • Refrain from disclosing personal information concerning students, faculty and staff, except where required or allowed by law.
  • Notify, as soon as possible, the emergency contact of a student, faculty, or staff member if it knows or has reason to suspect that the person has been taken into custody as the result of an immigration enforcement action. 
  • Maintain in the Dean of Students’ Office a contact list of legal service providers who offer legal immigration representation and provide these services free of charge to any and all students who request it.
  • Post on its website the current policy and a summary of a person’s rights under state and federal immigration laws.
  • Advise students, faculty and staff of their rights under state and federal immigration laws and how to respond to a federal immigration action or order.
  • Advise those responding to or having contact with an officer engaged in immigration enforcement executing an immigration order to refer the entity or individual to Campus Safety for purposes of verifying the legality of any warrant, court order, or subpoena.
  • Ensure that certain benefits and services continue to be provided to undocumented students in the event they are subject to a federal immigration order.

Everyone, regardless of immigration status, has basic rights when stopped, questioned or detained by law enforcement, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This document will help you understand those basic rights, provide some general guidance for responding in those circumstances and provide the Internet links to organizations providing additional information on this topic. This document is not intended as legal advice. You should contact your lawyer to get advice for your specific circumstances and to ask any specific questions you have related to your immigration status.


  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • You can simply say, “I am exercising my right to remain silent” or “I want to remain silent.”
  • You are not required to say anything or answer any questions about where you were born, about your nationality or about how you entered the United States.
  • You have the right to speak to an attorney.
  • You can simply say, “I want to speak to my attorney” or “I want an attorney.”
  • You have the right to refuse to sign documents until your attorney reviews them.
  • An attorney will make sure you understand what a document says and means before you sign it.


  • You can get legal help.
  • The Office of Student Life maintains a list of providers of free and low cost legal immigration services. Contact the Dean of Students, Dr. Stu Cleek in Kerrwood Hall Room 214, by calling (805) 565-6028 or by emailing scleek@westmont.edu. If you are detained you can ask the officer or agent for a list of free and low cost providers.
  • You can learn more about your rights.
  • The “Know Your Rights” section of the California Office of Immigrant Assistance provides more information about the rights and resources related to immigration status.


  • If you have a valid work permit or green card, carry it with you in case you need to show it for identification purposes.
  • Keep important documents such as birth certificates and immigration documents in a safe place where a friend or family member can access them if necessary.
  • Memorize the phone number of a friend, family member, or attorney that you can call if you are arrested or detained.
  • Designate a trusted contact person and tell that person how to find you in the event you are ever detained by ICE. Provide your contact person with your alien registration number if you have one. Your contact person can use ICE’s online detainee locator if you are in immigration custody. Or they contact the local ICE field office responsible for Santa Barbara county, which is located in Los Angeles at 300 North Los Angeles St. Room 7631, Los Angeles, CA, 90012, phone: (213) 830-7911.

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