The Los Angeles school board has unanimously approved a set of policies that board members said would provide families with a higher level of protection from federal immigration raids.
Among the safeguards in the sweeping set of guidelines approved Tuesday: No immigration officers will be allowed on campus without clearance from the superintendent of schools, who will consult with district lawyers. Until that happens, they won’t be let in, even if they arrive with a legally valid subpoena.
“L.A. Unified is basically saying fear stops at (our) door,” said school board member Ref Rodriguez, who co-sponsored the measure, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Board member Monica Garcia, who also sponsored the resolution, said the new guidelines clarify the district’s position, “offering greater detail.”
“These are commitments we have already made,” she said.
Backers said the latest resolution was the most comprehensive to date, developed by the American Civil Liberties Union over several months.
“This is an important opportunity for LAUSD to be a model for the state and for the nation,” said Sylvia Torres-GuillÈn, director of education equity for the ACLU of California.
The resolution also does not let the Obama administration off the hook.
“The record number of deportations in recent years,” it states, “has tragically broken apart loving families, devastated communities, and caused widespread fear.”
Millions of people are living in the United States without legal authorization. Many are parents or relatives of children, who have a long- established right to attend public schools regardless of their immigration status.
Torres-GuillÈn said it’s important that school staff know exactly what to say and do if immigration officers arrive. They are to tell them simply to keep out. Then it will be up to senior officials to assess the validity of credentials and any legal authority to enter district property or obtain information, she said, according to The Times.
—City News Service
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