Campus Reform | Rutgers profs fume over suspected illegal's DUI arrest

Rutgers profs fume over suspected illegal's DUI arrest

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Rutgers University professors complained to their school president after campus police arrested a suspected illegal alien for driving under the influence (DUI) and then allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain him.

More than 100 Rutgers faculty members penned a letter to the university’s president, Robert L. Barchi, expressing their displeasure with the treatment of a man named Luis Alberto Lopez , The Daily Targum reported. Signatories included history professor James Livingston, who, in a post about children playing at a restaurant he frequented, called them “little Caucasian assholes” “slid[ing] around the floor.”

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Rutgers police approached Lopez’s vehicle on Sept. 29 for a suspected DUI. Upon being pulled over, Lopez presented police officers with fake identification documents. Rutgers policy dictates that the university reports any individual who is both arrested for a violent crime and has immigration complications to ICE. 

Faculty signatories of the letter claim that Rutgers unfairly treated the suspected illegal immigrant by excessively charging him. They also assert that Barchi is violating his previous statement, in which he called Rutgers a “safe haven.”

“Any illusion that Rutgers is a place where individuals will not be targeted on the basis of immigration status is shattered once representatives of our community, entrusted with ensuring campus security, collaborate with ICE,” the faculty said. “We call upon you now to speak loudly and forcefully by issuing clear directives to the Rutgers University Police, in writing and shared with our entire community, that they are not to inquire about or report any individuals’ immigration status, and that they must not detain people for rendition to ICE. In this alarming moment, such a decisive statement is critical to ensuring that your stated commitment to our campus as a safe haven holds true.”

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“I think the current safe haven status of the university is messy, as it is unfair to undocumented immigrants, leaving them in legal limbo, and pushing the university to be at odds with federal agencies,” Rutgers freshman Matt Circonciso told Campus Reform

Communication about the school’s "safe haven” status “is of the utmost importance, whether it be through public announcements or private channels directly to [the faculty signatories]," Circonciso added.

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