Criminal Justice Career Day brought ICE, CBP agencies to campus

Criminal Justice Career Day brought ICE, CBP agencies to campus

Criminal Justice Career Day brought ICE, CBP agencies to campus
March 05
23:40 2019

The UNT Department of Criminal Justice and the Alpha Phi Sigma criminal justice honor fraternity hosted the Criminal Justice Career Day Monday afternoon, drawing concern from students regarding the presence of federal law enforcement officials at the job fair.

Around 75 organizations were represented at the fair, including Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Event organizers estimate more than 200 students attended as well.

A petition, which now has more than 1,300 signatures along with an open letter to UNT faculty, condemned the invitation of ICE and CBP representatives. It called for increased scrutiny of immigration officials to maintain a safe environment for students and was sent to university officials last week.

“We firmly maintain that any presence of either ICE or CBP on our campus contradicts the stated support and efforts of the university to create an inclusive environment for our most vulnerable or marginalized,” the letter said. “Even non-enforcement activities that such agencies are currently permitted to conduct can significantly and negatively impact vulnerable and marginalized students’ access to the university and the educational as well as other services they require.”

CBP officers at the Monday fair said their agency was in search of entry-level positions, like border patrol officers, though ICE officials said their agency was not in search of hires. Students visiting the tables for each agency did not have to give information to officials, but instead encouraged to use federal job application websites if interested in positions.

Both ICE and CBP officials in attendance Monday said they had not heard of any petition or letter regarding their presence. An ICE official said their work at the criminal justice career fair did not permit any detainment or interrogation of students, but only to inform students of occupational opportunities.

The petition and letter also address CBP participation at a February international career fair held in Marquis Hall, where many international and immigrant students were in attendance.

Organizers at both career fairs handed out and promoted lists of the organizations present at each fair, though both fairs featured organizations highly specific to their theme. UNT officials invited CBP officers to both fairs because of the agency’s international and criminal justice career opportunities, despite the immigration status of attendees.

Leigh Anne Gullet, UNT associate director of news, gave a statement on the university’s intentions for the career fairs over email.

“The university is here to educate students and help prepare them for future careers in a wide variety of fields and specializations,” the statement said. “With that intention, we do our best to provide a broad variety of educational and career resources for our students. Because we understand and recognize all of our students are individuals with unique interests, dreams and goals, we strive to provide a wide range of career opportunities from which they can choose.”

Student government leadership also expressed concern over the presence of immigration enforcement in an open letter posted to the SGA Twitter account, signed by SGA President Muhammed Kara and Vice President Dominique Thomas.

“The University of North Texas prides itself on its diversity and an apart of that means to support all of our students regardless of background, country of origin, and nationality,” the letter said. “The sole mission of these agencies coming to campus is to recruit UNT students to join their workforce and we can confirm that they will not be walking around campus speaking to students outside the career fair.”

Featured Image: A United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent speaks with a student at the Criminal Justice Career Day. Carter Mize

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Carter Mize

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1 Comment

  1. Sam K
    Sam K March 13, 08:15

    Wow. As a UNT graduate distance student who lives in El Paso, I have to say this is NOT that big of a deal. I am an alumni of UTEP and we had BP and CBP tabling all the time. UTEP is literally across the border. So close you can SEE Juarez through the border fence/wall from the Bookstore. You can see Juarez from the Sun Bowl. Citizens here share the roads with official Border Patrol vehicles DAILY. I live about 20 minutes from a Border Patrol station. There is no reason their presence at a TABLE for a CAREER FAIR should disrupt students that much. Especially when most will walk across campus, go to class, and leave, without even encountering them, like any OTHER college student on a standard day. The notion that this could disrupt an entire day or be dangerous to students is simply preposterous. Live on the border for a year and see how little of a difference being near them regularly actually makes to daily routines. One little table WON’T hurt you. They won’t be interrogating students. They’re just doing general recruitment, which they do in many places. Quit being such chicken littles students!

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