Update: the University and Customs & Border Patrol

Update%3A+the+University+and+Customs+%26+Border+Patrol

Alexandra Puga

Recently, Career Services sent out news of a webinar hosted by Customs and Border Patrol, a partnership which caused outrage and fear among University students. Though he declined to comment for the Pace Press, President Marvin Krislov sent out an email about the crisis to almost all of the students and faculty.

“I want to thank the students and faculty whose voices prompted me and my leadership team to consider and address their concerns, I want to take this opportunity to highlight and reaffirm our commitment to our students,” said President Krislov in his statement. “To be clear: I firmly believe that all of us at Pace are part of one family. We work best, and we learn best, when we come together as one Pace. In this challenging time, we must continue to work together, learn together, and support one another.”

Screen Shot 2019-11-05 at 3.34.26 PM

University senior Sydney Korman said, “President Krislov’s letter is simply a continuation of the empty words that we have been receiving from the University. The distribution of his letter was clearly for the purpose of being able to say that the president made a statement. In the statement, the president reiterated that the University would comply with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and any other similar government agency. I do not know how the University administration defines protecting students…but I certainly do not see it as complying with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They are not even doing the bare minimum to guarantee that safety of immigrant students, documented or not.”

Krislov restated his support for DACA students and confirmed the safety and security of all students on campus. He also confirmed that the University stands with the DACA program as a path of education for immigrant students, making note that “[the University is a member] of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, which advocates for DACA students.” This alliance is “dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities.”

Krislov continued, “Pace staff, including our Safety and Security officers, are not charged with enforcing federal immigration law and do not make inquiries into immigration status…We will disclose information to a government entity only if we must comply with a legal obligation, such as a legally issued warrant or subpoena or statutory mandate, and even then, we will not volunteer any information beyond what is required.”

At the end of his email, President Krislov said that the University’s administration will shortly be forming an Advisory Committee on Student Services. This committee will include students and faculty who will represent the student body and “will serve as a resource to ensure that those [Safety and Security] officers have the benefit and insight of diverse and inclusive voices as they work to fulfill their mandates.”

“The email that was sent out by President Krislov was an avoidance tactic,” said Peyton Yourch, a junior at the University. “The email did not acknowledge that Pace had done anything wrong, without context this email could have just been an email about new initiatives around DACA students. The…advisory group will most likely be cherry-picked with students and faculty who will undoubtedly accept what the University does blindly.”

On Nov. 12 from 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. in the Schimmel Lobby, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Tiffany Hamilton will host a Know Your Rights panel. Speakers from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Catholic Charities Department of Immigration and Refugee Services will be featured.

Yourch continued, “The second idea is the ‘Know Your Rights’ panel, which is an act that Krislov should not take credit for as none of his efforts went into this panel. Krislov doesn’t even attach any information about the panel…All that these promises are saying is that Pace doesn’t care about their students with varying immigration status. To folks with varying immigration status considering attending Pace, in no way will you be protected by President Krislov or any administration members and there is no guarantee of your safety at Pace. To folks with varying immigration status at Pace, Pace faculty and students will resist if something happens to any of Pace’s students, and we as a community will do everything in our power to protect all of the students here because your school will not.”