'Just a Political Maneuver': Seattle Law Student on University Suspending ICE Externship Program
A student at the Seattle University School of Law said Saturday on Fox & Friends that the institution's suspension of its externship program with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is over a disagreement with President Trump's border policies.
The program, which reportedly linked students with ICE's Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., was suspended after one student complained to the faculty and thereafter created an online petition.
Thomas Reinhard, a third-year student at the school and Campus Reform correspondent, said Saturday that the move was "disingenuous."
"[It] just seems to me to be just a political maneuver because they disagree with the president's enforcement of border policy," he said.
The school's externship program director, Jill Dutton, reportedly said in a statement that there's a possibility that "placing a student in an ICE externship may force them to act unethically or unlawfully."
Reinhard questioned why the school would want to limit student opportunities, and said that some students are being "shut out."
"We're not forcing students to extern with ICE," he said. "But that opportunity should be available for students who want to pursue a path in law enforcement."
Reinhard stressed that ICE needs legal externs in order to assist its agents along the border.
"To me, it really just is a political maneuver by Seattle U. and it's just really unfortunate and honestly embarrassing as a student to have just another political decision made by this administration," he said.
In a statement, ICE Principal Legal Adviser Tracy Short called the suspension of the program "disheartening."
"It’s disheartening that an institution dedicated to teaching the laws of this country and whose core values include justice and diversity would prevent its students from gaining valuable professional experience in the fields of immigration and customs law," Short said.