Schools and social service agencies in communities with a lot of immigrants should create plans for how to respond if federal immigration authorities conduct workplace raids, according to a study by the Urban Institute that was commissioned by the Washington-based National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy group.
Researchers studied three communities that experienced work site immigration raids in the last year to see what impact the raids had on children. I interviewed Steve Joel, the superintendent of the public school district in Grand Island, Neb., one of the communities featured in the report, for an immigration article published in September. He’s also quoted in an Associated Press story about the report published yesterday.
The Urban Institute researchers found that many parents who were arrested were afraid to divulge they had children because they thought their children would be detained as well. Thus churches, social service agencies, schools, and other organizations were left to ensure that some children were cared for. The researchers note that five million children in the United States have at least one parent who is undocumented. Many of those children are U.S. citizens.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.