Bowing to pressure from student protesters, Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University announced it is ending a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide emergency medical training to federal agents.
ICE has been a target of open-borders activists who have falsely accused the Trump administration of myriad bad practices, such as running so-called concentration camps at the southern border to house immigration detainees and treating those individuals badly. Activist actions against the agency seem to have intensified since President Donald Trump, who promised to reform the nation’s immigration system while on the campaign trail, was elected.
The false claims made against ICE by activists are “really shameful,” acting ICE Director Matthew Albence recently told Fox News.
Services may be strained at some immigration detention centers on the border because Congress has not appropriated enough funding, he said. ICE detention facilities are “safe,” “humane,” and “secure.”
“If you want to abolish ICE, what you’re saying is that you don’t want 140,000 criminals removed from the country every year … you don’t want the 1,300 children that were saved from sexual exploitation and human trafficking … being saved.”
University representative Kim Hoppe said the school notified ICE’s Office of Investigations weeks ago that it wouldn’t extend its current contract under which ICE’s Special Response Teams have received medical training since 2004, The Baltimore Sun reported.
“After careful and deliberate consideration, the JHU Center for Law Enforcement Medicine will not be renewing this contract,” Hoppe wrote in a statement, adding that the university is trying to work out how to execute “a safe and orderly wrap up of the medical programs.”
Johns Hopkins has reportedly earned upwards of $7 million from 37 contracts with ICE since 2008.
Student groups have long denounced the university for signing agreements with ICE, accusing the school of “pretending to stand for progressive principles while reaping the rewards of dirty business.” Students carried out a monthlong sit-in at Garland Hall, the primary administrative building on campus, in April, demanding the university sever its relationship with ICE.
Months before that, students and faculty members walked out of class and walked around campus chanting, “Caging children is horrific, JHU is complicit” and “JHU hear us shout, we won’t stop until ICE is out.”
Drew Daniel, an associate professor of English, reportedly helped move the anti-ICE campaign into high gear by initiating a petition in 2018 that urged the university to stop doing contract work for ICE.
“Given the extent and extremity of its cruel practices and the scale of ongoing human rights charters which ICE continues to violate, we do not see how in good conscience Johns Hopkins University can collaborate with this organization,” the petition stated.
Members of the Baltimore International Socialist Organization and local branches of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Jews United for Justice also campaigned to end the ICE contract.
ICE was contacted by The Epoch Times but didn’t provide a comment as of press time.
ICE has been on the receiving end of activist anger across the United States in recent years.
On July 13, Antifa activist Willem Van Spronsen attempted to firebomb an ICE facility in Tacoma, Washington. He was killed at the scene by police officers.
The same month, activists protesting outside an ICE facility in Aurora, Colorado, pulled down the U.S. flag and flew the flag of Mexico in its place. The activists also took down a pro-police “Blue Lives Matter” flag, spray-painted “Abolish ICE” on it, then raised the flag upside-down on a pole beside the Mexican flag.
In 2018, Antifa activists doxxed–published the personal information of—almost 1,600 ICE employees. On June 19, the Twitter account for Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska published a tweet that listed the names of ICE agents, as well as other personal information.
Antifa activists have used their own bodies to obstruct immigration law enforcement. In February 2018, about 70 activists surrounded an ICE van that was attempting to enter the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles; they chanted “no more deportations,” and “Trump and Pence must go,” as well as slogans in Spanish.
The nonprofit United We Dream created the Notifica smartphone app to help illegal aliens evade authorities. Notifica can send out mass-alerts about law enforcement activity. Promotional material stated, “Notifica can help you prepare for an encounter with ICE or police officers and quickly inform your network if you worry you may be detained.”