Activists are protesting Northeastern University’s multi-million dollar research contract with ICE, calling the affiliation “irresponsible and immoral.”
NU students and independent activists are organizing a protest on Wednesday to demand the university cut all ties with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a government organization they believe is “immoral.”
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NU’s contract with ICE to study “Exploratory Methods Mapping” (EMM), which is designed to track or map large data sets over a geographic area, began in September 2016 and runs until August 2021.
The contract’s total “potential award amount” at the end of the nearly five-year contract is $7,758,040, of which the university has already received $2,711,012.
A petition protesting the contract, which had been signed by nearly 2,000 people as of press time, declares that “having any kind of contract with ICE at this moment in history is irresponsible and immoral,” demanding that Northeastern “immediately end all contracts with ICE.”
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The protest and petition were started in part by Evan Greer, deputy director of “Fight for the Future,” an organization “dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet’s transformative power.”
“The US government is tearing families apart. Children have been kept in cages,” the petition reads. “There is more evidence every day that ICE is engaged in widespread human rights violations. And Northeastern University is helping them.”
The form letter also claims that while EMM technology is intended to help combat weapons trafficking, it “could just as easily be used to expand mass surveillance of immigrants and communities of color” and give ICE a method to track illegal immigrants for deportation.
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NU Vice President of Communications Renata Nyul, however, told Campus Reform that such fears are unfounded, explaining that the research grant was “obtained by a Northeastern University professor” who has been studying “data related to the import and export of weapons of mass destruction.”
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11104