Education

Los Angeles Unified Says Schools Will Be ‘Safe Zones’ for Undocumented Students

By Denisa R. Superville — November 16, 2016 1 min read
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In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president, the Los Angeles school district has reaffirmed its commitment that its schools will be “safe zones” for students who are undocumented.

A school board resolution passed Tuesday directs school staff not to allow federal immigration agents onto school grounds, unless those agents have prior permission from the district superintendent or the school district’s lawyers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

This week’s resolution essentially affirms one the board passed in February that makes the district a “safe zone.”

In the February resolution, district workers were directed to treat all students equitably, not inquire about their immigration status or the status of their families, and immediately contact the district office if a federal immigration official sought to access a school site.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in the wake of the election, school board members also agreed to pen a joint letter to President-elect Trump, “affirming the American ideals that are celebrated in Los Angeles.”

Trump campaigned on a plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to curb illegal immigration. He said in an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday that he will begin to incarcerate and deport between 2 and 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records. (Experts have disagreed on whether there are 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.) He also plans to end an Obama administration policy that allows undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children to avoid deportation and obtain work permits.

Since the election, teachers across the country have reported that some of their immigrant students were fearful that they or members of their families would be deported.

Mayors of Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco have promised to fight federal efforts under a Trump administration.

The Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck also has said that his police department did not plan to help federal officials in a Trump administration with deporting illegal immigrants.

Those cities are all “sanctuary cities,” a loosely defined term that generally means that the cities do not cooperate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the Associated Press. Trump pledged during the campaign that he would deny those cities federal funds if they continued that practice.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.

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