Oregon State is a sanctuary university

protest signs

Signs in the Student Experience Center Plaza. (photo: Theresa Hogue)

A statement from President Edward J. Ray

Oregon State University community members,

This past week, I have met with numerous Oregon State University students and heard from other members of our community concerned that changes in federal immigration laws may occur and result in deportations. Some members of our community also fear that the nation’s anti-discrimination laws and policies will be diminished.

These concerns are very personal and powerfully heartfelt. At this time, we must reaffirm our commitment to one another as a community, and must listen to and support one another regardless of immigration status, background or identity.

It is unclear at this time whether any federal changes will occur pertaining to undocumented students and those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

But as an institution, let me be clear: Oregon State University is fully committed to diversity of all kinds, and we stand united for inclusivity and the safety of all people. Oregon State will be a sanctuary university for its students. As your president, I assure you:

  • OSU does not and will not enforce federal immigration laws.
  • The university will not facilitate federal immigration enforcement activities — nor will it honor federal immigration information requests — unless required by warrant, court order or emergency health and safety concerns. If OSU is ever so ordered, the university’s General Counsel will review any such order to confirm its validity and ability to be enforced.
  • Oregon State University will vehemently oppose any federal effort to create a registry based on protected characteristics, such as national origin, religion, sexual orientation, race, or other identities.
  • The university will only release student confidential information to federal agencies as required by law.

In accordance with state legislation, Oregon is already a sanctuary state. Oregon law provides that no state law enforcement agency–(such as the Oregon State Police that serves the OSU Corvallis campus– can use state resources “for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the U.S. in violation of federal immigration laws.” I understand that Governor Kate Brown is expected to provide further guidance on this law in the coming days.

I also understand that Oregon State student government leaders are considering how to best respond to and serve immigrant students with questions about their status and related legal issues. For example, free immigration legal services are available to students through ASOSU legal services.

Whether you are a student or an employee, it is possible that you simply need someone to talk with. If you are in need of personal assistance, and are a Corvallis student, please visit the offices of Diversity and Cultural Engagement, Institutional Diversity or the Division of International Programs. The Student Affairs Student Resources website also provides detailed information about support services. OSU-Cascades, students should visit their campus’ student resources website for assistance. Employees needing assistance may utilize the OSU Employee Assistance Program by confidentially calling 1-800-433-2320 at any time, or by calling the Human Resources Department at 541-737-3103.

In the next few days, I plan to meet again with students who have expressed concerns over federal immigration matters. I also plan to meet with and listen to other students and to learn how they are navigating these uncertain times.

As your president, colleague and fellow community member, I am here to help and lead all of us forward.

Edward J. Ray
President

10 Responses to “Oregon State is a sanctuary university”

  1. Wesley Anding says:

    Is there going to be an opportunity for ecampus students to voice their concern about a policy that could affect the federal financial aid they receive?

  2. Doretta Claycomb says:

    To have our OSU president state: “that OSU does not and will not enforce federal immigration laws” is appalling! OSU has a responsibility to educate the raising generation to uphold the laws of the UNITED States of America.
    If one does not agree with the laws they should then work to change them, not defy them. A defining attitude will only bring chaos.
    Members of the OSU community need to know the OSU’s President Ray will uphold laws and not defy them. And student should know that as members of the OSU community they are responsible for upholding the laws and rules of the land and the university.
    It saddens me to see the direction this issue is going. Those individuals who are in the USA illegally need to get the lives right with the laws of the land. Until they reach that status they are in bondage,and slaves to their situation. They are not a free person.
    One can never disobey a governing law and in the end have peace of mind or joy of a clear conscience.
    Think integrity and freedom, not lawlessness and a conscience in bondage.
    Live and uphold the laws or work to change the laws is the way of a strong democracy.
    Most Sincerely,
    Doretta Claycomb

  3. ToadBoy says:

    We have the President of a major university saying, in writing, that he will actively violate federal law. This, before the “need” for doing so manifests itself in any way. What does this display but the scorn for the Rule of Law that kept Hillary Clinton from becoming President in the first place? We have, as a nation, known since 1865 that showdowns between states and the federal government do not end well. There is nothing to be gained by such openly provocative and, may I add, divisive statements.

  4. Anthony Cavinaw says:

    WRONG.

    § 181.850¹
    Enforcement of federal immigration laws
    Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a law enforcement agency may exchange information with the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection in order to:
    (a) Verify the immigration status of a person if the person is arrested for any criminal offense; or
    (b) Request criminal investigation information with reference to persons named in records of the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services or the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.

  5. Eric Stoller says:

    Appreciate President Ray taking such a public stance for justice. I’m quite proud to be a graduate of Oregon State University today.

    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. OSU Graduate says:

    Thank you so much for publicly stating this! This makes me proud to be a graduate of OSU!

  7. Harland Patricio says:

    States and state institutions have the right to review federal laws and mandates for validity and standing. Most of what binds states to federal rules is interstate commerce, which is often applied at the leisure of interested ruling parties, rather than actual material interstate commerce.

    The idea that some students or interests would blindly follow federal law as the highest order of the land is a sad indicator of the state of our educational system. Because that just ain’t how it works folks.

    The President of the University has taken a smart and nuanced position, which favors the University’s right to determine its own just membership. Anyone challenging another human being’s right to attend the university is probably doing so on racial grounds and is probably afraid of a merit-based approach.

  8. 8 U.S. Code § 1324 - Bringing in and harboring certain aliens says:

    (a) Criminal penalties
    (1)
    (A) Any person who—
    (i) knowing that a person is an alien, brings to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien;
    (ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;
    (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
    (iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law; or
    (v)
    (I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or
    (II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,
    shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).
    (B) A person who violates subparagraph (A) shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs—
    (i) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i) or (v)(I) or in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), or (iv) in which the offense was done for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both;
    (ii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), (iv), or (v)(II), be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both;
    (iii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) during and in relation to which the person causes serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of title 18) to, or places in jeopardy the life of, any person, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both; and
    (iv) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) resulting in the death of any person, be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined under title 18, or both.
    (C) It is not a violation of clauses [1] (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (A), or of clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) except where a person encourages or induces an alien to come to or enter the United States, for a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States, or the agents or officers of such denomination or organization, to encourage, invite, call, allow, or enable an alien who is present in the United States to perform the vocation of a minister or missionary for the denomination or organization in the United States as a volunteer who is not compensated as an employee, notwithstanding the provision of room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses, provided the minister or missionary has been a member of the denomination for at least one year.
    (2) Any person who, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has not received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, brings to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever, such alien, regardless of any official action which may later be taken with respect to such alien shall, for each alien in respect to whom a violation of this paragraph occurs—
    (A) be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; or
    (B) in the case of—
    (i) an offense committed with the intent or with reason to believe that the alien unlawfully brought into the United States will commit an offense against the United States or any State punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year,
    (ii) an offense done for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, or
    (iii) an offense in which the alien is not upon arrival immediately brought and presented to an appropriate immigration officer at a designated port of entry,
    be fined under title 18 and shall be imprisoned, in the case of a first or second violation of subparagraph (B)(iii), not more than 10 years, in the case of a first or second violation of subparagraph (B)(i) or (B)(ii), not less than 3 nor more than 10 years, and for any other violation, not less than 5 nor more than 15 years.
    (3)
    (A) Any person who, during any 12-month period, knowingly hires for employment at least 10 individuals with actual knowledge that the individuals are aliens described in subparagraph (B) shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.
    (B) An alien described in this subparagraph is an alien who—
    (i) is an unauthorized alien (as defined in section 1324a(h)(3) of this title), and
    (ii) has been brought into the United States in violation of this subsection.
    (4) In the case of a person who has brought aliens into the United States in violation of this subsection, the sentence otherwise provided for may be increased by up to 10 years if—
    (A) the offense was part of an ongoing commercial organization or enterprise;
    (B) aliens were transported in groups of 10 or more; and
    (C)
    (i) aliens were transported in a manner that endangered their lives; or
    (ii) the aliens presented a life-threatening health risk to people in the United States.
    (b) Seizure and forfeiture
    (1) In general

    Any conveyance, including any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft, that has been or is being used in the commission of a violation of subsection (a), the gross proceeds of such violation, and any property traceable to such conveyance or proceeds, shall be seized and subject to forfeiture.
    (2) Applicable procedures

    Seizures and forfeitures under this subsection shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 46 of title 18 relating to civil forfeitures, including section 981(d) of such title, except that such duties as are imposed upon the Secretary of the Treasury under the customs laws described in that section shall be performed by such officers, agents, and other persons as may be designated for that purpose by the Attorney General.
    (3) Prima facie evidence in determinations of violationsIn determining whether a violation of subsection (a) has occurred, any of the following shall be prima facie evidence that an alien involved in the alleged violation had not received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States or that such alien had come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law:
    (A) Records of any judicial or administrative proceeding in which that alien’s status was an issue and in which it was determined that the alien had not received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States or that such alien had come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law.
    (B) Official records of the Service or of the Department of State showing that the alien had not received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States or that such alien had come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law.
    (C) Testimony, by an immigration officer having personal knowledge of the facts concerning that alien’s status, that the alien had not received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States or that such alien had come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law.
    (c) Authority to arrest

    No officer or person shall have authority to make any arrests for a violation of any provision of this section except officers and employees of the Service designated by the Attorney General, either individually or as a member of a class, and all other officers whose duty it is to enforce criminal laws.
    (d) Admissibility of videotaped witness testimony

    Notwithstanding any provision of the Federal Rules of Evidence, the videotaped (or otherwise audiovisually preserved) deposition of a witness to a violation of subsection (a) who has been deported or otherwise expelled from the United States, or is otherwise unable to testify, may be admitted into evidence in an action brought for that violation if the witness was available for cross examination and the deposition otherwise complies with the Federal Rules of Evidence.
    (e) Outreach program

    The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, as appropriate, shall develop and implement an outreach program to educate the public in the United States and abroad about the penalties for bringing in and harboring aliens in violation of this section.

  9. Beaverrick says:

    As an Alumni, unlike the President, you do not represent me or my ideals. Please resign

  10. Was a Beaver Fan says:

    Very disappointed! You are corrupting the rule of law with this.