Officials at neither Hopkins nor PNC responded to requests for comment on Sunday.
But Hopkins President Ron Daniels previously defended the ICE contracts as a matter of academic freedom. In a statement last fall, Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar said it would be inappropriate for the university to dictate to professors and researchers who they can educate and who they cannot.
“Our colleagues believe that their programs serve the public interest by providing quality education and emergency medical training that ultimately benefits those who interact with the agency,” wrote Daniels and Kumar.
Dr. Zack Berger, an internist at a Johns Hopkins outpatient center on Caroline Street, donned his white coat to join the march and speak out against his employer.
“I think collaborating with a government agency that commits moral wrongs against patients is not defensible,” said Berger, 46.
Berger also treats immigrant patients at the Catholic Charities Esperanza Center in Fells Point. Some of his patients may fear deportation, he said.
He said he hopes Hopkins leaders will hear his message.
“They need to carefully consider whether the loss of moral face in the community is worth the monetary gain,” Berger said.
The marchers carried signs with slogans such as “Immigrants Welcome in Baltimore," “Close the camps” and “No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here.”
They recited chants, including “JHU! Shame on you!" and “Stop family separation! It’s a moral obligation!”
Brant Berndlmaier, 40, carried a “Smash ICE” poster and handed out fliers to festival-goers that detailed how they could contact Hopkins and PNC officials to register their opposition to involvement with ICE.
He said he believes that the federal government’s treatment of immigrants and refugees at the country’s southern border represents “dehumanization at its basest.”
Berndlmaier said he recently quit his job doing government agency support for Verizon. One of the agencies that Verizon has a contract with is ICE, and even if it’s just cell phone support. Berndlmaier said he no longer wanted to be a part of it. He’s been volunteering to greet arriving immigrants at local bus stations and attending rallies.
Even with the heat, he was eager to walk a few blocks from his home to join the Jews United for Justice march.
“I showed up and said, ‘I’m not a Jew, but I’m for justice,’” Berndlmaier said.
As the marchers reached the Johns Hopkins University stage, they were pleasantly surprised that members of the band on stage doing a sound check, Survival Society, started playing and singing along as they chanted: “No human being can ever be illegal.”
Survival Society’s musicians placed signs from the marchers on the stage and stood by during a final round of speeches and the recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish, a Jewish prayer that honors the memory of the dead.
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