A Day Without Immigrants - Suggestion for School Policy

gerri.songer's picture

Dr. Schuler is waiting to review an Executive Order the President has indicated he will be signing next week before sending out correspondence on the issue of deportation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

He states, "Our students deserve to be safe in our schools. Several years ago, I directed our buildings to not let ICE come into the buildings without a court order. It would be my intent for that to continue."

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A Day Without Immigrants

School Policy suggestion from Maryam Judar, Executive Director and Community Lawyer from Citizen Advocacy Center:

(A) I know there were rumors about immigration checkpoints on CTA, but the CTA quelled these by posting on their website what is really happening (random checks for explosives).

So it may be rumors that you could check for their veracity.

(B) I think that there needs to be policies developed at schools to protect students:

Berkeley School District in California just passed a policy, and there is a page on their website where they talk about it.

http://www.berkeleyschools.net/2017/01/25/letter-to-families-immigrant-s...

Key paragraph:

“It is the general policy of the District not to allow any individual or organization to enter a school site if the educational setting would be disrupted by that visit. Because the Governing Board believes that ICE activities in and around schools, early education centers, and adult school facilities would constitute a severe disruption to the learning environment and educational setting for students, any request by ICE to any District personnel to visit a school site shall be immediately forwarded to the Superintendent for review and consultation with legal counsel, to ensure the safety of all students, as well as compliance with Plyler v. Doe and other applicable state and federal laws.”

I think that we need to get our school districts to adopt this kind of policy. I am cc’ing Terry Pastika here, one of our board members and former long-time Executive Director who has opened a sister organization in Berkeley, and she brought the new policy to my attention.

(C) As for immigrant students’ right to attend public schools, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plyler vs. Doe (457 U.S. 202 (1982)) that undocumented children and young adults have the same right to attend public primary and secondary schools as do U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Like other children, undocumented students are obliged under state law to attend school until they reach a mandated age. As a result of the Plyler ruling, public schools MAY NOT:

• Deny admission to a student during initial enrollment or at any other time on the basis of undocumented status.

• Treat a student differently to determine residency.

• Engage in any practices to “chill” the right of access to school.

• Require students or parents to disclose or document their immigration status.

• Make inquiries of students or parents that may expose their undocumented status.

• Require social security numbers from all students, as this may expose undocumented status.

Students without social security numbers should be assigned a number generated by the school. Adults without social security numbers who are applying for a free lunch and/or breakfast program on behalf of a student need only indicate on the application that they do not have a social security number.

Changes in the F-1 (Student) Visa Program do not alter the Plyler obligations to undocumented children. These changes apply only to students who apply for a student visa from outside the U.S.

Finally, school personnel — especially building principals and those involved with student intake activities — should be aware that they have no legal obligation to enforce U.S. immigration laws. (U.S. Supreme Court, 1982)

I’ve attached an English/Spanish flyer that discusses these issues, which I found from the Oregon State Dept. of Ed.

(D) The attached Dear Colleague letter from the DOJ and DOE that also outlines students’ rights.

CROSSROADS FUND: Immigration Raids – Update From Our Grantees
https://crossroadsfund.org/news/immigration-raids-update-our-grantees
ICE Raid Hotline: 1-855-435-7693

https://gerrisonger.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/berkely-sch-dist-undocum...
https://gerrisonger.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/legal-issues-undocumente...
https://gerrisonger.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/doj-doe-may-8th-2014-col...