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Student Petition Asks Harvard Paper To Apologize After Asking ICE For Comment

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Ben McDonald Contributor

A petition currently circulating by a student group on campus called “Act On A Dream” aims to condemn the Harvard Crimson student newspaper for asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for comment on an article published in September relating to an event held on campus that called for abolishing ICE.

Currently at close to 650 signatures the petition states,

“Last month, Act on a Dream held a rally calling for the abolition of Immigration, Customs, & Enforcement (ICE). In the reporting of the article, The Crimson staff contacted ICE for a request for comment on the protest. In a follow-up meeting to discuss their policy, Crimson staff stood by their decision to call ICE and stated that they would do so again.”

In the original story from The Crimson it mentioned them reaching out to ICE by writing, “ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.”

Marion Davis, director of communications for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said “getting both sides isn’t always what is fair, especially when one side has already made its views well known through the megaphones of government.” (RELATED:College Students Are Staging ICE Raids To Understand Oppression)

The Harvard College Democrats released a statement saying that they will not talk to the Crimson until they “stop calling ICE on students.”

Since the petition was published the Crimson posted a follow up article yesterday citing various experts in journalism defending them asking ICE for comment as a good work of journalism.

The paper notes that “Diana Mitsu Klos, director of engagement at the Student Press Law Center, said it was The Crimson’s ‘journalistic duty’ to contact ICE because of the agency’s central role in the protest.”

The Crimson also quoted Society of Professional Journalists President Patricia Gallagher Newberry, who said what the paper did was “wholly appropriate.”

Student outrage over ICE has swept the nation with protesters at Northeastern demanding the school end its partnership with ICE, Stanford students cried over satirical pro-ICE posters around campus, and a high school student claimed that he was suspended for wearing an ICE hat.