Georgetown official: Illegal immigrants are 'freedom fighters'

Georgetown University has named a new associate director for undocumented students.

The new hire referred to illegal immigrants as "freedom fighters," a comment receiving criticism from one expert.

Georgetown University named a new Associate Director for Undocumented Students, who referred to illegal immigrants as "freedom fighters."

While not a new position, the role does highlight ongoing efforts by universities across the country to aid illegal immigrants, provide additional benefits and resources, some of which are not even available to American citizens, and even offer free legal assistance to fight deportation. 

The position at Georgetown, though, is part of the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, which the university describes as "support[ing] students of color at Georgetown University in a variety of ways." The center says it "can provide you with someone to talk to about personal issues or concerns," "a chance to explore diversity issues," and "affordable options for textbooks, printing, or summer housing."

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In an email to Georgetown’s newspaper, Jennifer Crewalk, the new Georgetown associate director for undocumented students, said, “I’m looking forward to focusing on community healing, the present needs of our students, but also ask all of us to be visionaries for what is possible for the near future, our undocumented students are the freedom fighters of this moment and time, and they are helping to awaken people to how important it is for our communities to be conscious.”

According to the Georgetown Hoya, Charlene Brown-McKenze, director of the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access said, “Georgetown provides Undocumented Student Resources to ensure the dignity and care of all members of the university community, Jennifer comes to Georgetown with experience and passion that will serve her well as the new Director for Undocumented Students."

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Crewalk told the campus newspaper that “building a conscious community can educate and move people toward awareness of their own privilege when people acknowledge their own privileges, they can better advocate for others.”

Mark Krikorian, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies, told Campus Reform, "it’s bad enough that my alma mater is using tuition payments from American parents to serve the needs of illegal immigrants, but to refer to foreign citizens living here in defiance of American law as 'freedom fighters' is an obscenity." 

"It is really consistent with the 'Jesuit values' Georgetown claims to espouse to claim that the lawfully enacted statutes of the United States are so illegitimate that those defying them are 'freedom fighters'?" Krikorian added.

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According to Georgetown University's website, the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access currently has a staff of 11 people, including three program coordinators, two associate directors, and two assistant directors for separate campus programs and initiatives.

Georgetown, a Jesuit Catholic institution, also has an LGBTQ Resource Center, which is promoted as the "first such Center of its kind at a Catholic/Jesuit institution in the country." 

As Campus Reform has also reported, Gonzaga University, another Catholic Jesuit institution, recently opened a new "LGBTQ+ Rights Clinic."

Crewalk and Georgetown University did not respond to Campus Reform in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Jess_Custodio