EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Former acting ICE director SHUT DOWN at UPenn after chaos erupts
- Former ICE Acting Director Tom Homan was shouted off stage by protesters at the University of Pennysylvania.
- Organizers of the campus event ended up canceling the scheduled engagement.
Former ICE Acting Director Tom Homan was scheduled to speak at the University of Pennsylvania on Wednesday but, before he could utter a word, disruptive protesters shut down the event.
Exclusive video obtained by Campus Reform shows students inside and outside of the venue chanting "no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here," "abolish ICE," "f*ck the police," and "go home Homan." One protester held a sign that read, "I prefer crushed ICE." The disruptions prompted organizers to cancel the event, an action for which UPenn students and alumni had earlier signed a petition.
At one point in the video, a woman is seen informing the crowd, over loud "abolish ICE," chants, that "because of the nature of the disruption...we're not going to be able to hold the program..." Individuals in the crowd began cheering after that announcement.
The incident comes two weeks after now-former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin MacAleenan was shouted off stage at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as Campus Reform reported at the time.
The UPenn petition to cancel the event with Homan was signed by more than 400 students and alumni, including student organizations, and demanded the university revoke former Homan’s speaking invitation for the event that was slated to happen Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Homan was the former acting director from ICE from January 30, 2017 to June 29, 2018.
“We, the undersigned members of the University of Pennsylvania alumni community, are in solidarity with our immigrant community and in opposition to the visit of Thomas Homan, the former director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” the petition states.
The students and alumni claim that by UPenn inviting Homan, the college is running contradictory to its “claim of being a sanctuary campus that is committed to ensuring the well-being and safety of all of its students.”
In addition, they also say that Homan’s presence “contributes to a climate of xenophobia and hatefulness” which in turn, negatively impacts students who are “most vulnerable.”
“Penn cannot credibly champion diversity and inclusivity, nor can it ethically profit from the contributions of its immigrant community, while being ambivalent to the anti-immigrant animus Homan’s legacy embodies,” the petition reads.
The petition also demands that the university “refrain from inviting current and past ICE and Customs and Border Protection personnel,” as well as creating an “Immigrant support fund,” which would pay for “the DACA renewal fees of students, faculty, and staff.”
According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, a UPenn student organization Penn for Immigrant Rights harshly criticized the event, calling it "inappropriate and inherently violent."
"Penn should stop inviting speakers and hiring people who incite violence against oppressed groups. Penn made a commitment to become a sanctuary campus, but it seems that it only did that for brand purposes," Penn for Immigrant Rights Co-President Ale Cabrales told the Daily Pennsylvanian.
UPenn alumni Janet Kong-Chow, one of the people behind the petition, said that the university needs to be careful about inviting "speakers who are controversial and speakers who have committed human rights violations.”
Corey Paredes, the communications director for the UPenn College Republicans told Campus Reform that while the students certainly have the right to petition, it is discouraging that it would be used in this way.
“[I]t is disappointing that such a right would be used in an attempt to silence the speech of an upstanding civil servant who was granted a Presidential Rank Award by President Obama for enforcing the same immigration laws that currently apply under President Trump,” Paredes said. “The event provides a critical voice on the importance of upholding our laws and sovereignty as a nation.”
Paredes commented to Campus Reform before the event began and added that if the university did cancel this event, it would be “an outrageous submission to radical leftist voices that have little interest in sound public policy and the welfare of the American people.”
“Penn should hold firm in upholding its publicly-stated commitment to free speech and free inquiry,” Paredes said.
Campus Reform reached out to the University of Pennsylvania but did not receive a response in time for publication.
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