WASHINGTON - Earlier this month, about 150 students from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore walked out of class to protest the school’s ties to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).
The university currently has two agreements to provide education and training to agency officers.
Protesters said working with ICE goes against a pledge of support for undocumented students made by the university President.
“He made this email about DACA recipients and how this is a sanctuary space for these recipients, but then we find out later that they’re having these contracts with ICE,” said Mira Wattal, a student protester.
ICE has come under fire in recent months for its role in carrying out contentious federal immigration policies
Cabot Phillips, the media director for Campus Reform, a conservative group which focuses on higher education. In an interview, he said,
“There has been this vitriol that’s grown toward ICE in the Trump era, where students associate President Trump’s policies, and in their mind, anti-immigration rhetoric, with ICE so they view it as the embodiment of everything they don’t like.”
While some universities have given in to students’ demands by revoking any partnership they had with ICE, Johns Hopkins denied the request.
DHS spending data reveals the school has earned about $7 million from more than 30 contracts with the agency.
Johns Hopkins has re-affirmed its support for undocumented students and in a statement said in a statement (in part).
"Our specialized training and leadership programs with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency have no relationship to the enforcement of immigration policies by the current or any other administration."