This assignment asks students to read multiple articles pertaining to ICE before creating several classes to store and sort data pertaining to ICE. The reading portion of the assignment is present to help students learn more about the organization they are analyzing, as well as provide context to the data that they might find. Due to the recent news coverage of ICE under the Trump Administration, the public perception is often that Republicans support ICE and Democrats do not. As such, this assignment is one that, at first glance, might seem like it has the potential to be highly divisive. Firstly, this is not the intention of this assignment, nor will it be the likely takeaway for students. Through the creation of the required functions and classes, they will actually discover the non-partisan nature of ICE. They also will be presented with information regarding financial ties between companies and ICE in order to show how ICE functions as an economic entity. This assignment is not designed to teach students that ICE is either good or bad, but instead to give them the opportunity to understand how computer science is linked to non-partisan structures of power and oppression.
When this assignment was given to students, the partisan nature of the assignment did not occur to them. Until we specifically asked them if they found it to be politically biased, they discussed the data found through a non-partisan viewpoint. Their discussion of the assignment did not reflect a Democrats versus Republican understanding of the material. Instead, they discussed ICE as a structure of power with social and economic implications. We consider this to be a mark of success, as it indicates that students were able to understand the separation of political parties from political policies. This understanding of a structure of power lends itself well to the exploration of the role of technology in structures of oppression, as it enables students to understand they can impact a social structure in a political manner outside of the current political binary in America.