With an uptick since late last year in home raids by immigration officers targeting Central American women and children, Los Angeles schools voted yesterday to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers off school grounds.
The Los Angeles Unified School District passed a resolution not to allow ICE agents on campuses without a thorough approval process and to also require schools to provide information and assistance to families who might be facing deportation.
ICE does not target schools generally, but the recent home raids have “created a climate of heightened fear and anxiety for many district students and their families,” the resolution reads, which could lead to families not sending their children to school out of fear.
“We are afraid to send them to school or even myself to go to adult school,” said one mother during the board meeting, according to the L.A. Times. “We need you to make a plan. What will happen if I get picked up?”
The ICE raids have been criticized by advocates and House Democrats, who say they unfairly target Central American women and children who should rightfully be given refugee status after fleeing violent circumstances in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The school district’s resolution also calls on Congress to enact immediate immigration reform.