American University Students Against CBP at Campus Functions

American University Students Against CBP at Campus Functions

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On May 15, the AU Career Center hosted a virtual career fair attended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP proceeded to leak over 1300 students' personal information that was collected over the course of the event.

Before attending the event, student attendees were required to submit a plethora of personal information in order to register. For example, they provided their AU ID numbers and whether or not they required visa sponsorship. Over 100 employers and organizations attended the career fair and students had no control over which ones would be receiving their information, like a regular career fair. 

Even if students did not interact with CBP, CBP still was able to collect their information and leak it. All of the student attendees' information was laid out on an excel spreadsheet and even included whether or not they were interested in a position with CBP, which most were not. 

This was an exceptional invasion of privacy that put so many students at AU at risk.

This existing relationship between AU and CBP presents a problem as well, as working with CBP is completely inexcusable in our opinion considering the abusive treatment of immigrants and people of color that has ensued in the organization. 

While it was a virtual event, allowing CBP to take part in our school function is the same as letting them walk onto our campus. If COVID-19 had gone differently, this event would have been in person and CBP would have been on our campus, attempting to recruit students. Having the presence of CBP on AU grounds without notifying students would have put several students in danger and showed a complete disregard for many students’ personal safety. This is exceptionally scary and unfair for immigrant and undocumented people at AU. No student should ever be put in a place where they have to share their personal information to get a career opportunity, and AU does not have the right to provide this information to organizations without a student’s consent. 

We are calling for CBP to no longer be allowed to take part in not just career events but all American University campus functions. American University should be a place where students are put first, and the actions that have occurred with CBP prove that this is not the case.