Editorial: NU needs to cut all ties with I.C.E.


The Editorial Board

As a university that prides itself on fostering a global community, Northeastern must evaluate what that means.

Earlier this year, Northeastern’s law school launched a program to help undocumented students obtain legal status. With several statements publicizing this, the university stressed their support of immigrants. This indicates a conflicting message, after a June article from Money Magazine, noted that Northeastern is receiving millions of dollars in funding from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE.

According to public federal spending data, Northeastern has received $2.7 million from the agency to support the research of the principal research scientist for the College of Criminal Justice.

This is not the first time that Northeastern is associating with polemical contractors. Raytheon, the world’s largest missile maker, is one of the top donators on Northeastern’s Leadership Campaign website.

After unease for these ties with ICE arose, the university released a statement that did little to comfort.

“Efforts to restrict which federal agencies a faculty member can approach for research funding are anti-ethical to academic freedom,” the statement read.

While there is an argument to be made that a researcher should have the ability to accept funding from sources that others dislike, we would argue that there is a line that should not be crossed.

ICE is responsible for a crisis in human rights and should be called out for what they are: an inhumane organization that resides far across that ethical line.

Though the zero-tolerance policy that lead to mass separation of families was rescinded, it’s clear there is a broader agenda at work and it’s going to be sooner rather than later that we will see similar actions.

The university had a chance to repudiate ICE’s actions and instead chose the safe path. While their course of action respects academic freedom, it also doesn’t ruffle any feathers.

Once again we are prompted to inquire: Does the global community that Northeastern claims to cultivate exclude immigrant families beyond our borders? Does being a global citizen, as President Aoun likes to say, have a contingency that financial gain surpasses human rights?

Northeastern should be on the side of those institutions that will act against the rising tide of racism in this country, and not aid and abet it, tacitly or otherwise.


Editor’s Note: The News’ photo editor Brian Bae, and deputy photo editor Dylan Shen have recused from this editorial.