Students gather, protest links with ICE; Maryland universities speak their mind

ALEAH BIKLE, Reporter

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As the national debate over the immigration policy in the United States continues to spark dispute under the Trump administration, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park are some of the few schools that have decided to break conformity and voice their opinions concerning contracts with ICE.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a program that ensures and defends the security of federal facilities, commercial airlines, and the processing and deporting of illegal or criminal “aliens.”
With multiple protests and signed petitions, students on the campuses have begun insisting that their universities cut ties with their contracts, even though the administration insists that the linked agency has nothing to do with the detention or deportation of those who are undocumented immigrants.
If these schools affirm that they do not plan to use this agency for what it’s intended for, then why have contracts with the ICE in the first place?
According to The Baltimore Sun, “Since 2008, Hopkins University has earned more than $7 million from 37 contracts with the ICE.” Of course the contracts are linked to the schools receiving compensation.
These contracts are “primarily with the medical school for educational programs that provide emergency medical training and leadership education,” which are set to expire in 2019.
If universities want to use these ties as something beneficial to their educational programs, why not share the money with all programs? Why should students who do not practice medicine suffer?
In a petition that received nearly 2000 signatures from students, faculty, staff, and even alumni, petitioners urged for the obliteration of contracts with ICE, permanently, and rightfully so.
The President of Hopkins, Ronald J. Daniels, believes that the students did not understand that “in good conscience” the university could agreeably collaborate “given the extent and extremity of its cruel practices.”
Someone who presides over a school and it’s community should take into account the possible consequences, should there be a time when a disagreement occurs and ICE takes over.
Listening to students and faculty should be the number one priority, as most have sacrificed enormous amounts of money, extraneous time, and effort to build the astounding reputation of the entire school.
If this problem is not taken care of, students will continue to further protest and voice their views on this issue, as seen at University of Maryland, College Park.
Passionate students have recently joined the call for a leadership overhaul at the university. Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society (PLUMAS) were among 24 student groups taking part in a rally calling for President Wallace Loh to fulfill his stated intention to retire in June.
The President of PLUMAS, Blanca Arriola Palma, believes that the only way to solve the issue at hand, it to have a change in leadership overall.
Whether or not these universities go about cutting ties with ICE and ease students minds, they will learn, one way or another, of the importance that a community has on its educational values and the safety of those always seeming to be outnumbered.

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