For Teachers and Citizens: How to Respond to Federal Immigration Raids
by: TeachDream Posted on: January 12, 2016
Editor’s Note: TeachDream is a “group of educators and counselors working in New York City Public Schools, as part of an Inquiry to Action Group (ItAG) organized by the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE).” In response to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, they write that, “as New York City public school teachers, we ask Mayor Bill De Blasio to make NYC a sanctuary city, like Philadelphia did just days ago, and to go beyond simply providing a city ID for all residents of this city. Our communities need more than identification, they need protection from a broken immigration system and a broken policing system. We must say no to raids and demand an end to deportations.”
Later in the statement they provide teachers and citizens resources and perspective on how to respectfully participate in protecting members of their communities.
The statement is geared toward New York City teachers and residents, but is relevant to everyone in the USA.
As teachers, educators and school support staff in schools with students and families of all immigration statuses, we oppose the Obama administration’s directives that have resulted in early morning invasive, terrorizing raids within our communities. At a time when presidential candidate Donald Trump calls for the deportation of all immigrants and insults Muslims and Mexicans in particular, we are disgusted that the Obama administration tacitly supports xenophobia through these intentionally disruptive and violent tactics in our communities. These raids are not new for those with convictions for misdemeanors from decades ago to the present. The misnomer “felons, not families” ignores the truth that people with misdemeanors include our students, their parents, siblings and neighbors who have been caught up in racist and punitive policing policies of the last 40 years. ICE continues to separate children from parents, and to terrorize parents and children into avoiding state institutions. Members of our community are afraid of going to schools and hospitals, for fear that ICE will be there to detain, deport, and destroy their families.
We are worried about our students. We are worried about their parents, their aunts and uncles, our neighbors, our friends and loved ones.
These raids are not new, but the press attention to it now raises new questions about the government’s priorities and whose lives matter.
As New York City public school teachers, we ask Mayor Bill De Blasio to make NYC a sanctuary city, like Philadelphia did just days ago, and to go beyond simply providing a city ID for all residents of this city. Our communities need more than identification, they need protection from a broken immigration system and a broken policing system. We must say no to raids and demand an end to deportations. ICE-FREE NYC. #Not1More
Do you work in a public school? Here’s what you can do:
- Spread information at your school
- Be sensitive in how you communicate this with students and staff. While we need a culture of urgency, awareness and action, creating a culture of fear helps no one.
- Alert staff to the possibility that these raids could happen to students and their families.
- Distribute Know Your Rights flyers and the contact information of a community organization in case raids happen (For New York City: Families for Freedom Hotline: 646-290-5551)
- Discuss raids with students; provide Know Your Rights flyers; name specific staff people for students to talk to if they need connections to legal services or more information
- Lead a staff training on immigration issues and how it might affect school. Refresh yourself on legal services and community organizations to refer students to (http://teachdreamnyc.com/legal-pathways-4/) and reach out to us at Teach Dream by joining the listserv (http://teachdreamnyc.com/join-our-listserv/) if you want help with planning.
Know Your Rights flyers:
- English – http://immigrantdefenseproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IDP-ICE-Raids-Flyer-FINAL-Jan-4-2016.pdf
- Spanish – http://immigrantdefenseproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IDP-Redadas-Folleto-2-paginas-FINAL-4-enero-2016.pdf
Report raids or ICE presence in or near schools
Schools are supposed to be ‘sensitive’ locations where ICE CANNOT enter (except in cases of suspected terrorism, thanks to the PATRIOT Act). This means they might wait outside of or nearby the school building. So far, ICE has NOT been reported near a NYC public school. Report this happening immediately (For New York City: Families for Freedom Hotline: 646-290-5551)
Confirm exact location when something occurred
- Was it actually ICE, police, FBI, etc?
- How were they dressed?
- Were any arrests made?
For New York City: Support and join ICE-Free NYC activities. Sign up for the TeachDream listserv (http://teachdreamnyc.com/join-our-listserv/) to stay connected.
For New York City: Ask school/staff to sign on to the following statement: https://www.change.org/p/bill-de-blasio-ice-free-nyc?recruiter=1212&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink
Visit TeachDream’s website: teachdreamnyc.com
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