We work in solidarity with the following organizations:
Science for the People – Boston Chapter
Response to DHS / ICE July 6th, 2020 statement on deporting international students
We stand in solidarity with all immigrants and international students in the US, regardless of visa status, including those who are threatened by this week’s decision.
As universities and vocational schools move classes online to reduce in-person interactions in the midst of a pandemic while continuing to educate our students, ICE and the Trump administration see an opportunity to advance their xenophobic and anti-education agenda. In rule modifications announced July 6th, the ICE Student Exchange and Visa Program states that international students enrolled in online-only programs in the fall may not enter the United States, and must leave the United States if they are currently here, or face deportation.
This latest xenophobic act from the Trump administration is designed to advance a racist agenda. Any claims by the Trump administration that the policy serves public health should be dismissed outright – this government has absolutely no legitimacy when it comes to competently navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Deporting international students does nothing to alleviate the pandemic, and directly puts the students at risk. If schools respond to this policy by reopening and holding in-person classes, it will directly undermine efforts to halt the pandemic and will result in excess disease and death within schools and their surrounding communities. As with all things Trump and ICE, the move is a stunning mix of cruelty and idiocy.
Our response must be unequivocal.
We reject this policy in its entirety.
Our universities and institutions must also be unequivocal in rejecting this move. The scientific community must take continuous action in solidarity with the immigrant community. Statements that administrations “understand this may cause anxiety” and are “reviewing this release” are wildly insufficient. We believe that a humane policy on immigration demands that ICE be abolished altogether.
Below we provide an alternative template that may serve as an open letter to ICE with individual and university signatories.
Open letter to ICE Student and Exchange Visitor Program RE: rule modification July 6, 2020, “SEVP modifies temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during fall 2020 semester”
Fuck you. No.
Science for the People Boston Chapter statement of solidarity with Black Lives Matter and related movements across the country
Science, as organized and practiced today, is an endeavor that exhibits extreme bias. The makeup of the scientific workforce does not reflect the racial makeup of our society; black people are wildly underrepresented, with a particularly egregious underrepresentation of black women. This is unjust, both as a violation of equality of opportunity, and because science is missing out on the intelligence, creativity and perspective of a large segment of society. Moreover, scientific output often neglects black communities, both because the perspective of the scientific workforce derives from other (mostly white) communities, and because larger, systemic biases in the economy and society push funding and research in certain directions. Even worse, some science actively promotes racial divides.
As academics, we understand that many of the major advancements in science are based on the contributions of people of color. As activists we further understand that these same contributors are often denied the credits for and the benefits of these advancements due to the racism inherent in the scientific community and society at large. We further acknowledge that these systems have often exploited and caused a great deal of damage to communities of color. As residents of Boston and the surrounding area, we understand that these exploitative systems are represented locally in neighborhood segregation and enormous income gaps. As scientists, we understand that the only way to advance and confront the enormous crises facing the world, including the current pandemic, is through solidarity.
Therefore, the Boston Chapter of Science for the People would like to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and more generally protestors of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and all other victims of police terror and the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life. The impunity with which police have terrorized and brutalized black communities – for as long as the police have existed – is sickening. It must end. We call on our fellow academics, activists, scientists and Boston area residents to join the movement spreading across the country.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
- Take action as part of the #ShutDownSTEM/#ShutDownAcademia movement: https://www.shutdownstem.com/
- Sign the petition to defund the police on the BLM website: https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/
- Sign up to lend your skills to Data for Black Lives: http://d4bl.org/
Sign the cross-campus statement against State Terror and call for termination of university-police ties: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zjG4UFnPb-6ia-P8w_zFBmwQ2K52LjgBC1OXJEbbo3o/edit
Statement in solidarity with students affected by immigration enforcement in schools
In light of the recent reports that Boston Public School officials put their students at risk of deportation by sharing information with the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Science for the People Boston joins the calls from the Student Immigrant Movement and Unafraid Educators to keep ICE out of schools and to end over-policing in schools. Amid the reality of family separations, horrific treatment of immigrants, and racist immigration enforcement, we unequivocally oppose deportations and any collaboration with ICE. Schools must be environments where students are empowered and able to learn. Science today is not representative of the diversity of the United States or the world. This limits the ability of the scientific community to address pressing scientific and social challenges. When youth from marginalized communities are criminalized rather than educated, we are limiting our future scientific workforce and our whole society suffers as a result of their lost contributions.