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Protocol for Responding to Immigration Enforcement Agencies

Protocol for Responding to State or Federal Law or Immigration Enforcement Agencies Seeking Student Information

April 17, 2017

As an employee, you are expected to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of information relating to our students and the University. This protocol provides direction for Santa Clara University employees in the event a federal or state agency contacts an employee seeking information or to implement action pertaining to a student. (*Please note this protocol does not pertain to civil subpoenas for employment or student records served by process servers. The handling of those subpoenas should continue to follow the current practice of being directed to the Office of the General Counsel.)

  1. In the event you are contacted by a law or immigration enforcement officer, you are not to provide any information in response to the inquiry but to proceed as below. Even if the officer presents you with a subpoena or warrant, this protocol is to be followed.
  2. Please request the person’s credentials (name, title, agency, identification number, and contact information) and then notify Campus Safety Services (CSS) immediately.
  3. Inform the individual that you are not obstructing process but that you are following University protocol and seeking assistance from those at the University that are equipped to assist them.
  4. To contact CSS, call 408-554-4441.  Explain the nature of your call and request to speak with one of the available persons: Phil Beltran (Director), John Loretto (Assistant Director), or the on-duty Watch Commander. CSS will immediately contact the Office of the General Counsel, 408-554-5355.
  5. CSS will assume responsibility for the matter and will meet the individual(s).
  6. If a subpoena is presented, Campus Safety will take them to the Office of the General Counsel, which is the only office at Santa Clara University that is able to accept service of a subpoena. If a warrant is presented, Campus Safety will take them to the Office of the General Counsel to review the warrant. Civil and administrative warrants do not authorize entry without consent. Criminal or arrest warrants may authorize entry without consent, however warrants may be difficult to distinguish, which is why the protocol directs such requests to the Office of the General Counsel.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does FERPA relate?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that generally prohibits institution of higher education from providing third parties with student education records. As a University employee, you are required to maintain the confidentiality of personal and personally identifiable information, as well as records containing such information.

How can I support our students?

Creating a safe space where students can come to you for support and advice is the best thing you can do for your students.

What if I am told that I must cooperate immediately because there is a safety issue?

Reiterate to the officer that you are not obstructing process and that you are cooperating by following University protocol to get them to the correct person at the University that can assist.

Is the University protocol the same for inquiries related to international students?