Law Enforcement

Appalachian State University Police are dedicated to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all members of our university community. We value and welcome the contributions that are brought to Appalachian by members of our international population.

University Police do not divert from this mission in order to enforce federal immigration laws. University police officers will not contact, detain, question or arrest an individual solely on the basis of suspected undocumented immigration status or to discover the immigration status of any individual.

Nonetheless, where federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have reason to pursue criminal suspects on campus, University Police may cooperate with those efforts to enforce criminal laws. Should U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conduct immigration enforcement activities on campus, University Police may be called in to prevent injuries or property damage.

International students and scholars are subject to different requirements. Universities are required to exchange data with federal immigration agencies on the status of international students on F-1, J-1 or M visas through use of a government database named “SEVIS,” which is part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). In some cases, University Police are required to report the arrest of any non-US citizen to their home country consulate. In other cases, consulate notification is required only upon the request of the person arrested. More information about consular notification can be found here.

According to the Department of Education, the Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) permits institutions to comply with information requests from DHS in order to comply with the requirements of the SEVP program.  However, this does NOT create a blanket waiver of an international student’s FERPA rights; the information that can be disclosed is limited to the categories listed in DHS regulations, and a request must be made to a campus Designated School Official (DSO).  Other information about international students is entitled to the same FERPA protection that otherwise governs student records. You can find more information about FERPA here.