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The University of Maryland’s contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is no longer active as of this month, according to an email from Laurie Locascio, research vice president, to student leaders earlier this week.
The contract, which was set to expire in March 2022, lapsed because the agency did not exercise the final year in the contract. The contract will not be renewed by the university this year, according to the email.
This contract began in 2017 and covered up to 25, two-day counterterrorism training sessions for homeland security investigators sent to U.S. embassies abroad, according to Stamp Student Union’s website. The training was led by researchers at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
For several years, student advocates from groups including Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society, the Student Government Association and the International Student Union, have called on the university to terminate its contract with the agency.
Both PLUMAS and the SGA released statements Wednesday evening expressing their excitement and relief over the decision.
“This is a huge victory for immigrant students, student advocates that pushed to end the contract,” the statement from PLUMAS read. “And the general inclusive environment that UMD needs to have moving forward.”
The SGA, though, called on the university administration to take additional steps to protect and support undocumented students moving forward. Student leaders urged the university to reaffirm its existing sanctuary policies, which refers to policies that limit cooperation with federal immigration agencies, and update how campus police should interact with undocumented students.
The SGA also wants the university to develop a “rapid university response” to student and staff deportations.
“As a campus community that upholds respect for learning, diversity and service to others, along with priding itself as a safe home for undocumented students, there is no place for a partnership with ICE at UMD,” the SGA statement read.
In the past, advocates have outlined the effects the existence of such a contract can have on students, ranging from safety to mental health concerns.
This story has been updated.