#ICEfreeGULC - Dean Treanor, Disinvite Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan From Serving as Keynote Speaker at Immigration Law & Policy Conference on October 7, 2019
The 16th Immigration Law & Policy Conference will be held at Georgetown Law on Monday, October 7th, 2019. The conference, organized by Georgetown Law and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), has invited Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan to serve as the conference's keynote speaker. McAleenan is a notorious figure, who has overseen and advocated for family separation, ICE raids, and has allowed migrant adults and children to languish in filthy, unsanitary detention conditions.

****Read our full letter below or at this link (includes citations/footnotes): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vpxdhDkO1hBuxRjVfp9U_rDzVXZ7t4ii7YkV5Y5uZU0/edit?ts=5d91498c

Sign below to tell Dean Treanor that we do NOT want the man responsible for such dehumanizing, racist, and xenophobic policies to have a platform, particularly one of respect and legitimacy, here at our law school.

**Tell Dean Treanor to DISINVITE Acting Secretary McAleenan from his role as keynote speaker.** SIGN BELOW.

September 30, 2019

Re: Georgetown Law’s Invitation to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan to be the Keynote Speaker at the 16th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference

To Dean William M. Treanor,

Family separation. ICE raids. Forcing migrants from around the world to wait in Mexico for their chance at claiming asylum in the United States. These are all policies that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan has overseen and continues to oversee. The person in charge of leading and implementing these policies has been invited as the keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, held at Georgetown Law. We, the undersigned students, faculty, and community of Georgetown Law refuse to welcome the Acting Secretary to our campus. We denounce everything that the Acting Secretary stands for and we call on Georgetown Law to hold true to the values that it espouses and disinvite Acting Secretary McAleenan from speaking on our campus on Monday, October 7th, 2019.

Mr. McAleenan became the head of the Department of Homeland Security on April 8th, 2019. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has continued to implement the Trump Administration’s white nationalist-inspired, anti-immigrant agenda, unleashing an all-out war against immigrants. During Mr. McAleenan’s tenure as Acting Secretary, multiple children have died in CBP custody and have died trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico.

Mr. McAleenan’s implementation of the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy has forced tens of thousands of migrants to either wait in dangerous, life-threatening conditions in Mexico or risk their lives trying to cross into the U.S. outside a port of entry. Under the “Remain in Mexico” policy, U.S. immigration officials turned away a Honduran mother, Idalia Yamileth Herrera Hernandez and her 21-month-old son Iker Gael Cordova Herrera, when they tried to claim asylum at the border. Officials forced them to remain in Mexico to await their immigration court hearing. Just a few weeks ago, Idalia and Iker died trying to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas. There are now over 35,000 migrants waiting in Mexico, not knowing when, if ever, they will be safe.

Acting Secretary McAleenan has also overseen the numerous ICE raids that have taken place in communities across the United States, ripping families apart, and forcing immigrants and their communities to live in fear and anguish. This summer, ICE arrested nearly 700 undocumented migrants while they were at work. News cameras captured their children sobbing, not knowing when they would see their parents again.

Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan has not only overseen family separation, he has actively advocated for it. Even before his appointment as Acting Secretary, when McAleenan was the head of Customs and Border Protection, he was one of three DHS officials to recommend family separation as an official policy. Despite a federal court ruling to end family separation, the Department of Homeland Security, under McAleenan’s authority, continues to separate migrant children from their families.

In addition to all of these cruel and inhuman policies, it is also Mr. McAleenan’s Department of Homeland Security that has kept migrants in severely unsanitary conditions in detention. It is Mr. McAleenan’s Department of Homeland Security that stood before a panel of federal judges in California and declared that soap, toothbrushes, and blankets were not basic human necessities. It is Mr. McAleenan’s Department of Homeland Security that has kept children huddled together in human cages without enough for them to even sleep. Mr. McAleenan’s policies and his actions have shown him to be someone with sheer hatred and contempt towards migrants.

We, the Georgetown Law community, cannot allow a person who has overseen such dehumanizing and abominable policies to speak on our campus. Mr. McAleenan has endless platforms on which he can speak. Georgetown Law does not need to be one of them. Instead, we should take this opportunity to make a statement—that white supremacist, xenophobic, racist policies have no place on our campus nor in our country.

When the Trump Administration made it clear that it would pursue its attacks against DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) recipients, Georgetown University released a solidarity statement, in which it said: “In faith and solidarity, we ask that all staff and faculty at Georgetown University categorically support its undocumented student populations and help protect against racism, discrimination, bigotry and the realities of numerous immigration challenges, and advocate to offset federal policies that seek to penalize immigrant youth and divide students from their families. As well, we ask that the university support all its employees who may also be affected by federal policies, who are in various temporary protected status categories and whose future is also ambiguous.”

Why are we now straying from that message? Why are we categorically supporting the person responsible for the racism, discrimination, and bigotry that so many in our community have faced? Now is the time to put our words into action—do not allow Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan to espouse racism, discrimination, and bigotry on our campus.


Members of Georgetown/Georgetown Law Community

Tooba Hussain L'21
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Dyllan Brown-Bramble L'21
Lily Milwit L'21
Isaac Katz L'19
Cora Metrick-Chen L'20
Sabiya Ahamed L'20
Nina Bernstein L'21
Sam Minter L'22
Jacob Demree L'22
Erum Kidwai L'22
Kalli Joslin L'22
Alex Goldstein L'22
Hibah Siddiqui L'22
Rolland Giberson L'22
Samantha Almon L'22
Flowers, Madison L'22
Michael Smith L'22
Luke Hammill L'22
Alec Williams L'22
Theodore, Salem-Mackall L'22
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Ellie Persellin L'22
Clara Mora L'20
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John Collins L'22
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Last updated 10/5/19 at 5:41pm

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