After recent calls by several members in the U.S. Democratic Party to boycott U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, higher institutions are also being pressured by the parents and staff to cut ties with the U.S. law enforcement agency which has recently come under fire for implementing the excruciating child separation policy.
According to Inside Higher Ed, D.C.-based Johns Hopkins University and the Northeastern University are facing petitions demanding that these institutions end their current contracts with the immigration agency.
Johns Hopkins’ School of Education has been working with ICE since 2009, and the university has received about US$6.6 million in contracts from the agency over the years, whereas the Northeastern's contract is worth US$7.8 million.
Drew Daniels, the professor behind the petition, tweeted Sunday that it had received over 1,000 signatures. "Given the extent and extremity of its cruel practices and the scale of ongoing human rights charters which ICE continues to violate, we do not see how in good conscience Johns Hopkins University can collaborate with this organization," the letter sent to university officials noted.
John Hopkins issued a statement stating that the university's "faculty have longstanding service contracts with federal law enforcement agencies to provide education, training, and medical expertise."
"Our commitment to academic freedom goes beyond protecting what professors say; it also means allowing faculty members to freely pursue research funding in their fields of expertise," Northeastern spokeswoman Renata Nyul told Inside Higher Ed. "Efforts to restrict which federal agencies a faculty member can approach for research funding are antithetical to academic freedom."
The Northeastern petition which states "[having any kind of contract with ICE at this moment in history is irresponsible and immoral" garnered over 2,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
The reunification process turned a bit grim when on Monday, in a court filing, Trump administration admitted that nearly 463 migrant parents may have returned to their respective countries with their children still remaining in the U.S. shelters.
Inside Higher Ed also reported that three other institutions — the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Vermont State Colleges system and the University of Maryland at College Park — currently have contracts with ICE.