Apr 19, 2017 10:09 AM EDT
Flyers containing deportation notices were distributed at Harvard University earlier this month. This sparked controversy and outrage prompting apologies from the student groups involved with the issue.
The mock notices, which were allegedly from "Harvard Special Investigations Unit," warned students that a resident of their dorm has been detained. The flyers were formally cosigned by Harvard Concilio Latino, the Harvard Islamic Society, and the Harvard Black Students Association and coordinated by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee.
In a post by The Harvard Crimson, it was reported that the flyers posed as a notice about a resident of one dorm who has been detained indefinitely due to "suspicious actions, suspected violent inclinations or suspicion of being a deportable alien." This caused uproar among students who thought that it was insensitive to students who have these risks in their daily lives.
The notices did explain that the flyers were not real. The intention was to make students aware of the "unsettling nature" of the issue and to allow the campus community to reflect on the reality of people who face these types of unwarranted disruptions.
Karla V. Alvarado, from the class of 2019, expressed her disappointment since she felt that the flyers did not take into account the feelings individuals who have actually seen deportation notices or had the risk of deportation looming above their heads. She had previously experienced such a situation because both of her parents used to be undocumented.
Some of the student groups have already issued a public apology. In a statement, the board of Concilio Latino admitted that the flyers may have been fake but the effects that it had on students may be beyond real and represent something opposite to what the group stands for.
Fatima M. Bishtawi, co-president of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, also apologized for the flyer's contents on behalf of the group. Distribution of the flyers has been stopped after it was slammed with criticisms from students.
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