Students, affiliates and community organizations gathered in Brody Learning Commons to protest the University’s contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Thursday, Nov. 15. This was the second protest of the JHU-ICE contract this semester.
The protest was organized by Teachers and Researched United (TRU) and several other student and Baltimore-based groups.
The JHU-ICE contracts will expire in 2019. The contracts provide funding for federal education programs that give emergency medical training and leadership education. The University also teaches managerial programs to ICE agents through the Management Cohort Program.
At the first protest, held in September, attendees marched to Garland Hall and presented University administrators with an anti-ICE petition that received over 2,000 signatures.
On Oct. 17, University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar responded to the petition via email stating they will not end current contracts.
Due to hazardous weather conditions, protesters could not meet on the Brody terrace as originally planned. Instead the protest moved into Brody Q-Level, outside of the Reading Room.
Despite having to change location, graduate student and Socialists at Hopkins member Conor Bean considered the rally to be a success.
“People showed up, people stayed which was great, everyone came through into the library, which... people were afraid doing,” he said.
Sophomore Celeste O’Connor stated that the event was more effective after its relocation.
“Bringing the demonstration inside spread the message to more people than would have heard it elsewhere,” she said.
Sophomore Kelechi Nwankwoala attended the event because he was interesting in learning about the JHU-ICE contracts and to show support.
“I wanted to show support for the undocumented students, faculty and staff who have been affected by ICE’s conduct and the current administration’s demonization of immigrants,” Nwankwoala said.
Bean connected the protest to the goals of the Socialists at Hopkins movement.
“Anyone who takes themselves as seriously having commitment to international human rights has to be concerned about what ICE is doing,” said Bean.
The protest ended with a final plea to Hopkins administrators by the protesters, who indicated that they will continue to protest until their demands are met.
“We will not cease our demands until the JHU administration terminates its contracts with ICE,” a protester announced.