MSU passes new bill to notify students about ICE agents

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EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Anxiety is spreading among some international students at Michigan State University after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are reportedly spotted on campus.

Michigan State University campus sign, Photo Date: September 25, 2015 / Cropped Photo: Ken Lund / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)

When their fears were shared online, the MSU student government passed a bill to protect students from ICE scrutiny.

Students at Case Hall say there have been lots of chatter on campus about ICE agent sightings.

"I saw it on a friend's story through Snapchat and then I thought like 'is this a joke,'" said Paloma Lopez, an MSU student.

"I saw it on a post on Instagram through an MSU account and I was like kind of concerned about it," said Hailey Cavazos, an MSU student.

Word about the Immigration and Custom Enforcement presence quickly spread both on campus and online.

"A friend there who only has a green card, he was you know, he was quiet but then he told us how he was afraid to step out of Holden Hall because he was afraid of you know stumbling upon ICE agents," Lopez said.

MSU communications office released a statement to News 10 saying three U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents were on campus Friday to present during a class for the first of a three-day course. But some students say they saw agents earlier in the week.

"I couldn't understand the fear of going to school everyday and having to look over your shoulder every once in a while," Lopez said.

Those concerns were heard by Associated Students of MSU(ASMSU). The student government organization passed a bill requiring the university to notify students about ICE agent visits two weeks in advance.

"Different student leaders on campus, they put it together to create some type of protocol if ICE agents were to come to campus," said Miracle Chatman, ASMSU Chief Diversity and Equity Inclusion officer.

The university said Customs officials will be back on campus Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 to visit the Department of Supply Chain Management.

In response to the ICE agent sighting, the group "Dream MSU" is calling on the university to declare Michigan State a sanctuary campus.

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