University where students chanted ‘F**k ICE’ protects illegal students from raids
Amid national Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, the university where students previously protested an ICE representative by chanting “F--k ICE” now wants to protect its illegal immigrant students from the federal law enforcement agency.
Northwestern University Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Payne Kirchmeier released a statement to the school community over social media and email Friday regarding Northwestern’s illegal alien policy.
“Amid reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents plan to arrest thousands of migrants across the country Sunday, Northwestern wants to assure our community, including our undocumented students, that we are firmly committed to protecting our students, faculty, and staff,” the statement read. “Northwestern will not release information from a student’s education record, including immigration status and other identifying information, without the student’s written consent, except as required by law.”
The statement also included a “know your rights” information page, along with instructions on what to do if contacted by federal agents. These resources give illegal immigrants instructions and warnings, such as cautioning illegals before taking authorized U.S. air travel.
The mayor of the city of Evanston, where Northwestern is located, released a similar statement regarding the potential for ICE enforcement in the area.
Northwestern provides many student services, which seemingly also apply to illegal students. In the statement, the university’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Student Enrichment Services are cited as potential resources for its illegal immigrant community.
Campus Reform reached out to Northwestern and multiple students at the school, but did not receive responses in time for press.
In 2017, students protested the visit of an ICE officer to campus, claiming that the representative could be damaging and offensive for illegal immigrants at the university.
Professor Beth Redbird invited the ICE representative to speak for her Sociology 201 class. Student protesters stood outside the classroom and held signs and banners while chanting “F--k ICE.”
Students proceeded to enter the classroom, which Redbird allowed under the condition that they were not disruptive, and continued to protest, questioning Redbird on why she invited the ICE speaker. The students asked if she had considered how the university’s illegal immigrant community could be hurt by the presence of the guest speaker.
Redbird had planned a two-part discussion, one segment with an ICE official and one with an illegal immigrant, so that students could hear multiple perspectives.
“All they did was come here today to answer questions so that you know what’s going on, so that you are informed and so that you can make decisions,” Redbird told students. “If you want to make change in a community, you need to know what’s going on.”
“There are people who would be listening to this ICE representative and agreeing with them and maybe one day becoming an ICE agent or co-signing and supporting them and that in itself is violence,” Danielle Douge, a Northwestern student and member of the university’s Black Lives Matter chapter, said, according to the Daily Northwestern. “I had a right to be in that building and I had the right to speak and say whatever I wanted. I had the right myself to tell her [that] I don’t want the ICE person on this campus.”
“We’re not interested in having those types of conversations that would be like, ‘Oh, let’s listen to their side of it’ because that’s making them passive rule-followers rather than active proponents of violence,” April Navarro, one of the Northwestern student protesters, said. “We’re not engaging in those kinds of things; it legitimizes ICE’s violence, it makes Northwestern complicit in this. There’s an unequal power balance that happens when you deal with state apparatuses.”
Redbird ended up canceling the discussion, suggesting she feared for the ICE official’s safety and privacy.
Northwestern spokesman Al Cubbage told Northwestern’s student paper that it was “disappointing that the speakers were not allowed to speak” after the protest.
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