After US Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested almost 700 immigrants on Mississippi's first day's school, the Detroit Public Schools Community District has vowed to do all they can to protect immigrant families with students under their watch. The colleges they oversee, they have declared, are a sanctuary.

The district has committed to not collect information about immigration status, and Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti contends, \”I'll be the first to put myself in front door to say [to federal customs agents], 'You're not entering our schools.'\”

The policy, long advocated by community leaders, was formally and loudly voted in through the school board last week. Following the vote, the policy was quickly made usable with a group of legal protocols that instruct various school personnel on how to handle situations that may arise.

\”We want our students to come to school and concentrate on teaching and learning, and never on whether the federal government, or any type of authority, will rip them out of their schools,\” Dr. Vitti believed to an audience of stakeholders who offer the policy. \”We have drawn a line within the sand to state that whenever children enter into our schools, their safety.\”

The nearby Hamtramck School District includes a similar policy, as do school districts in other cities, including Miami, Ny, Des Moines, and Chicago.

Chalkbeat reports that many in Michigan worry about the result from the toxic environment on immigrant students' capability to learn and on community cohesion more generally:

The Detroit district isn't the only local agency changing its policies. Earlier this year, pressurized from community groups, the city of Dearborn ended a cooperative agreement with immigration authorities. In the state capital, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, recently announced her support for a measure that would allow undocumented individuals to obtain driver's licenses.

The district continues to be pressurized for a long time to publicly reassure undocumented Detroiters that they could be safe on school grounds. Soon after Trump took office, teachers unions and others within the district rallied behind a sanctuary policy.

Education Dive provides other examples of policies schools have adopted to reply to the needs and fears of immigrant families, even just in cases when state policies do not encourage or prohibit declaring sanctuary, and the National Immigration Law Center provides additional guidance and resources here. These types of resources are specifically important when local conditions differ.

Tags : Public Schools

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