MANHATTAN — The city will stand up for students' right to attend school regardless of their immigration status, in light of the Trump administration's policies targeting undocumented immigrants, parents were told in a letter sent to them this week.
“The United States Supreme Court has also recognized the importance of public education for all students, including undocumented students,” said the letter, sent by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Nisha Agarwal, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
“Your child is our top priority, and we will do everything in our power to protect that right and ensure all students get a quality education.”
The letter outlined the following:
► DOE staff will not ask about or keep records of a student or family member’s immigration status.
► DOE staff will not grant unlimited access to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Like all other law enforcement agencies, ICE is not permitted access to schools without proper legal authority,” the letter states. “If ICE officers go to a school for immigration enforcement purposes, they will be referred to the principal who will take appropriate action.”
► DOE staff won’t release student information unless required to by law.
► Anyone in schools looking for legal services will be referred to ActionNYC, a program that offers free legal help from immigrant-community organizations.
You can read the full letter on the DOE’s website here.
In executive orders, Trump has threatened to de-fund sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with federal authorities looking to deport immigrants. He has also banned refugees traveling to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries.