The New School Board of Trustees passes a resolution regarding protection of undocumented students

Below is the letter by President David Van Zandt on the New School Board of Trustees’ November 22nd resolution:


I write to follow up on my November 17 message about concerns related to potential implications President-elect Trump’s immigration policies might have for international students. Today, I would like to address concerns related to undocumented students specifically.


The President-elect has made various statements concerning individuals who are in the United States without appropriate documentation, including those born outside of the U.S. but who have grown up here. There has been no action taken on this matter; nor has there been any definitive plan or policy change announced. Still, we understand the apprehension students may be feeling regarding these statements. That is why The New School has taken a significant step to protect undocumented students studying here:


Recently, The New School’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution affirming that the university will “welcome, admit and support students without regard to their citizenship status.” This resolution includes a commitment to protect undocumented students by withholding records that may disclose citizenship status to any law enforcement authority without a court order or a legally enforceable subpoena.


The Board resolution also endorsed the university’s position to not permit law enforcement authorities without legal mandates “to enter onto any premises the university owns or controls for the purpose of detaining any student, staff or faculty solely based on immigration status for the purpose of possible deportation.” The full text of the Board’s resolution is here.


The Board’s resolution underscores The New School’s commitment to creating a safe environment for our students to pursue their studies, and reaffirms our identity as an inclusive community that stands for social justice. It also echoes the strong positions that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo have already taken in support of undocumented immigrants residing in New York City.


In addition to the Board’s resolution, I am preparing letters to our United States Senators and Representatives to make them aware of our position.


International Students


To reiterate my message from last week: there have been no changes to the current student visa program and we know of no planned changes.


Nevertheless, our International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) staff will continue to monitor visa regulations closely. We have prepared this FAQ to provide up-to-date facts. The ISSS team will host discussions for international students in the coming weeks, and individual students can email ISSS with specific questions.


The New School is a better place because of its international diversity. We will work to ensure that this important aspect of our intellectual and creative mission remains vibrant.


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