Response to student petition for sanctuary campus

Janine Sikes, Assistant VP of Public Affairs
February 3, 2017
We are aware there is a petition stating the University of Florida “should uphold its commitment to fostering a safe community for all students and faculty.” 
 
We support that statement wholeheartedly and intend to do all we can to fulfill that commitment. 
 
UF has a long history of supporting its students and employees while following the law.
 
A safe and welcoming campus is among our highest priorities, not only for faculty and students, but also for staff. We affirm our support for all international students, faculty and staff.
 
That said, the actions the petition lists as associated with safety for undocumented students, require some clarification.
 
  • UF is committed to keeping sensitive records about individual students confidential, consistent with state and federal laws.  
  • UF does not collect records on the identities of undocumented students. Documentation is not necessary to qualify a student for in-state tuition under a 2014 Florida statute that requires in-state tuition for any student, regardless of immigration status, who graduates from a Florida high school, applies to a Florida university, and satisfies related statutory criteria.  UF and the state system supported enactment of this statute.
  • Any student who does not want an address made public, has the right to opt out of having “directory information” disclosed.  UF would then be prohibited by state and federal law to disclose that information without the student’s consent, a subpoena, or limited other exceptions that generally would exclude a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • It is the role of ICE, not the UF Police Department, to take law enforcement actions under immigration law, and the UFPD will not assume any role that isn’t legally required. 
  • UF offers confidential counseling services to any student or employee in distress, which may be accessed through the U Matter We Care program. This is an important safety support for our community.