"I've worked hard over the years to get people involved; they enjoy it immensely and ask if and when they can help me train people again," Morgan wrote. "So it has been a very positive endeavor."
According to the Yale Herald, one former "interviewee" of Middle Eastern descent, who enjoyed the experience, recalls being paid $50 an hour in one of Morgan's tests to try to deceive Yale students, and was paid $100 extra if he did so successfully. But some Yale students are appalled by the idea of using the city's immigrant community as test subjects, arguing that the University should stay out of the affairs of the U.S. military.
"It simply allocates Yale's resources to do something the military can do on its own: teach soldiers to interrogate," students Nathalie Batraville and Alex Lew wrote in an opinion column for the Yale Daily News on Friday.
"There was no conversation with the city about how this might impact its immigrant community. There was no conversation with students and faculty about how it might impact campus culture. And there was no conversation at all about the ethics of a project like this. It's hard to understand where this project came from; the university's motivations are wholly opaque."
The Yale administration confirmed in a statement that the center is a possibility and "would initially be funded by the Department of Defense," but also noted that a formal proposal has not yet been submitted and the center's methods would be "protected by oversight from Yale's Human Research Protection Program."
"In short, the center, if established, would be designed in the best traditions of Yale research and scholarship. Public reports stating otherwise are premature and based on speculation and incomplete information. Yale is absolutely committed to the careful design of research and the ethical treatment of research participants," part of the statement read.
Still, immigrant rights leader Dixon Jimenez says the New Haven community should also be involved in the decision, and that they need to hear more details of the project.
"We should broaden the conversation and demand that Morgan explain exactly what his center will do, and how immigrants will be involved, and we should discuss internally how it will affect us in the city and state."