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Sanctuary schools could make a difference for children

There is no greater fear for immigrants that being sent away when they know little else than this country. This is especially true for children, many of which have no memory of living in another country and may have no family or friends there.

Children should not have to worry about deportation when the United States is all they know, but it is a concern among families. There is one family, for example, whose daughter was detained as a result of immigration policies that pulled her out of school due to her legal status.

One protection that is in place that all immigrants should be aware of is a right to education in the United States. Thanks to a decision by the Supreme Court on Plyler v. Doe, all students, regardless of their citizenship status, are entitled to receive an education within the country.

In California, there is a hope to pass a bill that would prevent federal immigration officials from crossing onto school grounds without the express permission of an administrator or principal. This would help protect students by providing them with a kind of sanctuary; they would have no fear while within the boundaries of their schools.

It is important to address the growing issue of detention and deportation, especially when school children are involved in these cases. Passing policies at schools helps confirm what educators will do to protect students. Sanctuary school programs could help protect students who are at risk of or fear deportation or detention. If a child is in danger of being deported, he or she needs protection and a defense.

Source: UNIDOS US, "Protecting and defending schoolchildren from the threat of deportation," Stephanie Presch, accessed May 18, 2018

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