September 18, 2018 | ° F

EDITORIAL: Career fairs are for student opportunity


Petition to disinvite ICE ignores bigger picture


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RU Dreamers created a petition with the goal of disinviting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from Rutgers—Newark’s Government and Public Service Career Fair. After this petition was set forth, ICE withdrew from the fair, which is set to take place today. In their petition, the organization stated that, “The invitation to ICE challenges the proactive and inclusive stance (Rutgers—Newark) has taken in fostering safety, support and diversity in our community.” Additionally, it was stated that upholding ICE’s invitation to the event would create an “intolerable and unsafe environment for students.”

It must first be expressed that the worries of those who created the petition are understandable and valid considering the current political and social situation in this country with regard to immigration. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) DREAMers have a right to be wary of ICE, both for themselves and for their parents who may also be here without documentation. But in the grand scheme of things, should every person or group that seems to pose a challenge to the values of the Rutgers community be automatically shunned? Absolutely not. 

We must remember that while many in the Rutgers community wish to support their fellow students — undocumented or not — individuals on our campuses still have varying viewpoints, regardless of how vocal they are. And despite anyone’s viewpoint, ICE is a valid government agency that carries out the plans of their parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, which are drawn out by the Federal Government. The agency has more objectives and jobs than simply the deportation of undocumented immigrants. ICE has 20,000 employees who work in more than 400 offices in the U.S. and around the world, whose positions range from Intelligence Officer, to Mission Support Specialist, to Investigative Assistant and more. By denying ICE representatives a chance to speak with Rutgers students at the career fair, you are in turn cutting students off from a field that they may have interest in, even if they might not know it yet, on an unfounded basis.

Rutgers’ administration is adamant about the protection and support of DREAMers, as they should be. But even if ICE were to show up at the career fair, it is extremely unlikely that they would pose a threat to the safety or security of students. This is obvious because DREAMers are allowed to be here — ICE defers their action with regard to this group. Additionally, according to a Targum article on this matter, ICE vehicles would have been prohibited from parking on campus and representatives — who would have been from the enforcement's research unit, not enforcement agents — would not have worn ICE uniforms. 

It is interesting to note that by disallowing ICE to attend the career fair, the group that started the petition is conceivably helping validate the argument that the presence of undocumented immigrants in this country makes it harder for Americans to secure jobs. Those who hold that view may think of this situation as rather unfair, and may hold their belief even more zealously after realizing that they were denied the chance to speak with ICE about job opportunities. 

We fully back and support our fellow students regardless of their documentation status. We understand that for many members of our community, ICE seems to stand between them and their dreams. But with that said, to view the agency of ICE as “the other side” seems to be misled. It is not necessarily the agency itself that is the enemy, but the policies they are enforcing — policies laid out by the federal government that threaten many good-hearted people’s yearning to pursue their goals. 

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The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 150th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.


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