School & District Management

Immigration Enforcement Will Happen ‘Over My Dead Body,’ Superintendent Says

By Corey Mitchell — March 17, 2017 1 min read
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The leader of the Miami-Dade schools, one of the nation’s largest districts, says federal agents looking to carry out immigration enforcement on school grounds will have a fight on their hands.

“On behalf of every single kid in this community, over my dead body will any federal entity enter our schools to take immigration actions against our kids,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told WFOR-TV, the CBS affiliate in Miami.

Carvalho threw down the gauntlet this week as Miami-Dade school leaders reaffirmed their support for undocumented students, joining a growing number of school districts nationwide that have publicly designated schools as safe zones in the face of the aggressive immigration enforcement policies ordered by President Donald Trump.

A former undocumented immigrant himself, Carvalho—the AASA National Superintendent of the Year in 2014—came to the United States from Portugal in the early 1980s.

Miami-Dade already prohibits Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from entering schools or coming to education-related events without a court order signed by a judge. The school board now wants Carvalho’s team to review district policies to determine what else the schools can do to protect undocumented immigrant students.

School board member Lubby Navarro told WFOR-TV that the district wants “to ensure that our schools are safe havens for all students and that this message resonates throughout entire communities, our neighborhoods, our barrios, so that everyone knows that our schools are safe for our children and our families.”

Miami-Dade schools have to look too far for a potential model. In neighboring Broward County, school leaders passed a five-page resolution that affirms that they will do everything they can to protect undocumented students who are on school grounds or participating in off-site school-related activities.

For Further Reading

If Immigration Agents Come Knocking, Schools Must Follow These Steps

How Much Can Schools Protect Undocumented Students?

Trump Orders on Immigration Rattle Some Educators

As Trump Weighs Fate of Immigrant Students, Schools Ponder Their Roles

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