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Local

DeKalb school board to take action against ICE involvement in schools

Board to discuss making district property a “welcoming community”

DeKalb High School is pictured May 30, 2018.
DeKalb High School is pictured May 30, 2018.

DeKALB – The DeKalb school board will consider a resolution that would ban the district from disclosing any student’s immigration status to federal officers and ensure the district is welcoming to all regardless of documentation.

District 428 Superintendent Jamie Craven said state and federal law already prohibits the district from inquiring about or disclosing information related to citizenship to any Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, according to district documents. He’s asking the board to consider the resolution at the board meeting set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Education Center, 900 S. Fourth St., and then vote on the matter Dec. 3 as a formal declaration regarding federal immigration law-enforcement activities.

Craven said he was approached by members of the immigration advocacy group Welcoming Western Counties, Sandy Lopez and Dana Yarak of Northern Illinois University, in August about the Welcoming Schools Resolution, documents show.

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated that no public school district can deny a child access to free public education on the basis of that child’s immigration status, documents show.

Under the resolution, the district would require properly executed criminal warrants to justify any arrests, interviews, searches or surveillance on school property, and that district property would be a safe zone against families threatened by immigration enforcement.

The resolution also states that it’s not the district’s mission to determine the citizenship or immigration status of students or families, nor is it to enforce federal immigration laws.

It says federal law enforcement agents who conduct surveillance, interview for or demand information, or arrest or detain anyone regarding citizenship status, has the potential to “harmfully disrupt the learning environment which all students, regardless of immigration status, are entitled.”

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