NEWARK — Following an online petition asking Rutgers University to "disinvite" the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency from participating in a campus career fair, the agency has withdrawn from the event.

Rutgers-Newark Senior Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Peter T. Englotsaid told New Jersey 101.5 that "after conversation with Rutgers-Newark student affairs leadership, the local ICE legal research office concluded that their presence at the career fair at this point would run counter to their goals to recruit students at this event and to the spirit of the event, so they withdrew from participation."

The online petition posted by RUDreamers received 139 signatures. A victory flag was added to the petition, which was no longer accepting signatures.

"ICE has formally withdrawn their invitation to attend the Government and Public Service Career Fair at Rutgers University-Newark. Thank you to everyone who signed," the group wrote on its Facebook page.

The petition contended that the presence of ICE on campus would cause "emotional distress" for students that had previous encounters with the agency.

In the petition, RUDreamers blames ICE for being part of the what it calls an "increasingly hostile political and social environment regarding immigration."

Among the 32 participants listed on the event's website are Christ Church; the Delaware Department of Correction; Port Authority police and state police from New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania; the New York Police Department; Philadelphia police; the FBI; the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness; the New Jersey Department of Children and Families; Target and the U.S. Army.

The Newark office of ICE was sharply criticized by the pastor of the Reformed Church of Highland Park after it took church members into custody for being in the country illegally. The church provided sanctuary to others, as ICE does not generally conduct enforcement actions in sensitive spaces, including houses of worship.

ICE and RU Dreamers have not yet returned messages seeking comment.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or on Twitter @DanalexanderNJ



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