Law school suspends program with ICE after student pressure

The Seattle University School of Law is suspending its externship program with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after pressure from students.

The externship allowed law students to get school credit for working in ICE's legal offices.


Third-year law student Alex Romero led the charge to suspend the program after seeing representatives from ICE at a school fair this fall. Romero, who wants to be an immigration lawyer, met with school administrators and urged them to end the program, saying that the presence of ICE representatives at the school is counter to the school’s mission, according to The Seattle Times.

In June, Seattle University, a Jesuit Catholic private university, had joined other organizations in condemning President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE’s administration’s policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

When administrators did not act, Romero started an online petition that quickly garnered nearly 500 signatures.

The dean of the law school later announced the decision to suspend the program with ICE, first reported by the school’s student newspaper, The Spectator.

In the email, Law School Dean Annette Clark said the school has not had students in the ICE externship for several years, but would be suspending the program in response to ICE’s “current policies and practices.”

“As educators, lawyers, and soon-to-be-lawyers, we hold particular power and bear a special responsibility to be peacemakers and to assist those who are suffering due to the unjust operation of our legal system, laws, and their enforcement,” Clark wrote.