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Guidance for Schools to Help Immigrant Children

Guidance for Schools to Help Immigrant Children

Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has developed an educator’s guide to dealing with immigrant children, including undocumented children, unaccompanied minors, and refugee children. The guide rightly points out that educators are often the first individuals to witness the impact of increased immigration enforcement on undocumented students and families. As a result, educators have a special duty to protect these children, make them feel safe, and understand their unique needs. The U.S. Supreme Court established in a 1982 decision that undocumented immigrant children have a constitutional right to a free public K-12 education. However, the current political climate is threatening children’s ability to exercise that right. Therefore, the educator’s guide stresses that schools should be safe havens for immigrant children and their families, regardless of their immigration status or national origin. Increased immigration enforcement is undoubtedly harmful for children, with respect to health, safety, academic performance, overall well-being. Children who witnessed the apprehension of family members in home immigration raids were more likely to exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder than those whose relatives were detained in different contexts. Schools also should be aware of the current administration’s stance on the “sensitive locations memo” established by the prior administration. This memo generally directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to refrain from enforcing immigration laws in so-called “sensitive locations,” which include schools, churches, hospitals, funerals, weddings, and public demonstrations. The current administration appears to have disregarded the memo, in that ICE agents in some areas of the country now are taking immigration enforcement actions regardless of whether a sensitive location is involved or not. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we have represented the interests of countless clients who are facing deportation proceedings, but who wish to remain with their families in the United States. Fortunately, there are many remedies that may be available if you are facing deportation charges. We will aggressively investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, and help you settle upon the option that is best calculated to allow you and your family to live where you choose. Contact our experienced deportation defense attorneys today, and learn how we can help.

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