When I finished my time at a small community college on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there was only one school to which I applied. That school was the University Of Maryland because it was one of the premier institutions of higher education in the country. However, that wasn’t the only reason I chose Maryland. The second reason I wanted to attend Maryland was that it embraced forward-thinking and inclusive practices. I was disgusted and appalled to find out I may have been wrong when I discovered our University had contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE.
ICE was created in 2003 during the height of the post-9/11 panic which lead the federal government to pass reactionary laws, which undermined the constitutional rights and increased domestic surveillance of mainly minority communities. ICE itself was one of these reactionary new policies as it was created and based on the idea that immigrants were a threat to our homeland security. This assertion was proven false by several studies and reports from agencies and research centers across the nation and globe. However, since its creation, ICE has a track record of undermining constitutional rights and violating the human rights and dignity of both undocumented immigrants and the United States citizens. Extremist politicians and ICE try to label undocumented immigrants as violent criminals in order to create fear, but the majority of undocumented immigrants are products of our broken immigration system. In fact, they are valuable and important contributors to their communities and the American way of life. An overwhelming majority of these undocumented immigrants have families, jobs, seek or have received an education, pay taxes, and contribute to American society every day.
The University of Maryland College Park should immediately end its contracts with ICE and embrace the Fearless Idea of fighting for a better immigration system that allows undocumented individuals to come out of the shadows and become full citizens of our great country.
Jared Schablein is is a sophomore government and politics major. He can be reached at [email protected]