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New Haven Schools Prepare For Immigration Raids

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If the feds coming knocking on New Haven public school doors looking for undocumented immigrants, officials are prepared to ask to see credentials first — then ask for a warrant.

Even then, they don’t expect to usher agents into the classroom. They do expect to notify families enrolled in public schools about any threats to their children.

That message is contained in a draft policy the Board of Education has prepared to respond to fears that the incoming Trump Administration will send agents back to the city to round up undocumented workers and their families. (Federal agents swept up 32 immigrants in new Haven in a 2007 surprise raid a day and a half after the city passed an immigrant-friendly municipal ID card program.)

School system operations chief Will Clark presented the draft policy at Monday night’s Board of Ed meeting at Beecher School. Clark heads a committee that has been working on the policy since concerns arose about New Haven’s “sanctuary city” standing with the federal government in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president.

Clark told board members the draft was “intended to push forth the conversation.”

He reported that the district is updating emergency contact information for all students and training staff “to accept, investigate and respond to any and all claims of discrimination or bullying against any member of the New Haven Public Schools district community.” And school staffers are instructed to avoid inquiring into students’ immigration status.

In his remarks and in his PowerPoint presentation of the draft, Clark emphasized that federal policy, backed up by state law, currently advises against immigration enforcement agents entering school buildings.

“But that is guidance. It is not law. How that may change is something we have to monitor very closely,” Clark said.

The draft recommends the following policy statements, among others:

• “Any request by immigration or other federal agents submitted at the school level shall be denied and forwarded to the Office of the Superintendent for legal review and for adequate steps to provide for the emotional and physical safety of its students and staff.”

• “The Office of the Superintendent shall require…..

To read full article: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/schools_immigration_policy/

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