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Harvard student government backs group that wants to ban quoting ICE in student newspaper stories


This will somehow preserve safe spaces for undocumented students

Photo by Brooks Kraft/Corbis via Getty Images

Harvard's student government, the Undergraduate Council, voted over the weekend to stand in solidarity with an activist student group demanding the Harvard Crimson newspaper not seek comment from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in stories, according to Reason.

The activist group, Act on a Dream, held a rally last month that called for ICE to be abolished. In the Crimson's coverage of the rally, they sought comment from ICE, as it is standard journalistic practice to seek comment from relevant parties. When confronted by the group, the newspaper stood by its decision to reach out to ICE.

Evidently, that set off Act on a Dream, which launched a petition to boycott the newspaper until their policy changed.

The petition claimed that, "in this political climate, a request for comment is virtually the same as tipping them off, regardless of how they are contacted."

"We strongly condemn their decision to uphold a policy that blatantly endangers undocumented students on our campus," the petition added.

Specifically, the petition demanded that The Harvard Crimson:

1. Apologize for the harm they inflicted on the undocumented community.
2. Critically engage with and change their policies that require calling ICE for comment.
3. Declare their commitment to protecting undocumented students on campus.
On Sunday, the Undergraduate Council voted 15–13–4 to pass a statement in support of Act on a Dream and acknowledge the apparent fear the Crimson has caused.

"It is necessary for the Undergraduate Council to acknowledge the concerns raised by numerous groups and students on campus over the past few weeks and to recognize the validity of their expressed fear and feelings of unsafety," the statement said.

Act on a Dream has been a part of Harvard University since 2008 and credits itself as "a home for undocumented, DACA, mixed status family, and other immigrant students & allies."

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