Following the widely reported deportation of an undocumented man from Long Beach in February, Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley announced an order last week that helps direct campus police who encounter undocumented foreign nationals.
General Order 55 was created after university officers pulled over Long Beach resident Jose Alvarez on Feb. 21 for a broken headlight near the Beachside College Residence Halls and ending up calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after a warrant check unveiled an ICE hold request on him for an aggravated felony. Alvarez was deported a few hours later.
After the incident Close Conoley said she met with her executive team, with input from concerned students, to review the incident and clarify and refine CSULB’s police policy and practice if a similar situation would arise.
“Under this order, campus police officers may arrest a foreign national with an undocumented status only if there is probable cause to believe he or she has violated a state law, local ordinance, or a federal law unrelated to immigration laws for which a warrant has been issued by a judge,” Close Conoley said in a statement last Thursday. “In other words, officers shall not stop or detain persons for determining immigration status or arrest persons solely for alleged undocumented entry into the United States.”
Close Conoley also announced that beginning Thursday, May 12 she has directed CSULB police Chief Fernando Solorzano to make the order permanent.
“You can be certain this year’s graduation ceremonies will continue CSULB’s long-standing tradition of welcoming the family and friends of our graduating students, regardless of their status,” Close Conoley said. “Now I can say to all of you that our campus policies match our aspirations. General Order 55 should reassure our Dreamers that Cal State Long Beach is behaving in ways that match their dreams.”
CSULB has about 900 undocumented students, university officials previously stated.
A few months ago Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens—who represents parts of Long Beach—introduced a Senate bill that ensures that legal residents who have committed low-level misdemeanors cannot be deported due to discrepancies between state and federal law.