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Rutgers University professors say recent ICE arrest goes against ‘safe haven’

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NEW BRUNSWICK -

A group of Rutgers University faculty members are calling on the school’s president to respond to an incident in which campus police went against the university’s safe haven policy by calling immigration agents.

Dozens of faculty members sent President Robert Barchi a letter denouncing the September incident in which Rutgers University police officers detained an individual for hours until Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents could pick up the person.

Faculty members say that this is against the university’s safe haven policy, and they say that it has left undocumented students wondering if they are safe on campus.

“If a Rutgers student knows that the police will do this to anyone, then fear is what you get,” says associate anthropology professor Rob Scott.

Scott says that Barchi promised that students who were undocumented would not have to worry that their status would interfere with their education and that the Rutgers Police Department would not be working with ICE agents.

The letter was signed by nearly 50 faculty members. It called on Barchi to stand up for undocumented students.

“He can make a public statement. He can make a statement in writing. He can say ‘With my instructions, with every bit of power I have, the RUPD is not going to communicate with ICE about who they pick up and they’re not going to hold anyone for ICE,’” Scott says.

Scott says that if the president does not respond to the letter, they will send another one.

“If he doesn’t give a response? Well he looks bad, right? President Barchi, if you’re seeing this, respond.  You’ll look better,” Scott says.

News 12 New Jersey reached out to Rutgers University for a statement. A spokesperson for the university says that they are working on their response.

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