Can Immigration Officials Detain Parents Or Children On School Property?
The world watched as several high profile immigration arrests were made on or near school grounds during the 2017 – 2018 school year. In Houston, a 19-year-old student without legal status was detained by immigration following an altercation with another student who provoked the attack. In New Jersey, two Indonesian nationals were arrested as they dropped their children off at school. These arrests were made in violation of the traditional “sensitive locations” policy, which held that federal immigration agencies would avoid so-called sensitive locations like schools, hospitals, and places of worship. With the new school year now upon us, immigrant children are fearful of what may come.
Attending School Comes With Risks For Immigrant Children.
For most children, the start of the school year may bring some jitters. Few American students, however, enter school with a genuine fear as to whether they could be arrested and deported by immigration officials. President Trump enacted a “zero tolerance policy” at the border last year and continues to push for reform, particularly in the field of family-based immigration.
Now, as thousands of immigrant children start the school year, many are fearful that questions asked by school officials could lead to their arrest or the arrest of their parents or relatives. In fact, a study published by George Washington University found that immigrant parents are reporting heightened levels of stress and anxiety. Many admitted to warning their children to stay away from authority figures.
School officials in some states have issued statements that expressly state ICE cannot act on school campuses. Further, federal law requires students, regardless of their immigration status, receive an education. Nonetheless, with the overall immigration climate turning to one of fear and oppression, immigrant children are hesitant to put their trust in officials who may not have their best interests at heart.
Immigrant families should start preparing for the worst case scenario now. Put all documents in a safe location and notify a trusted individual who is here legally as to what steps to take if you are detained. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers at NPZ Law Group, P.C. for assistance with obtaining a legal status or defending against
If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact Samantha