LOUISVILLE and LEXINGTON, Kentucky. Despite the promises from the government that teens and children won’t be subject to deportation raids at school, many parents and immigrant students are now afraid to go to school. According to NPR and public school officials, the Department of Homeland Security’s actions have had a negative impact on the social, emotional, and educational well-being of students, particularly those in large immigrant communities.
Latinos represent the largest growing group in the public school population. Yet, current raids and deportations have been targeting Central American children. According to the Atlantic, 7 percent of children in U.S. public school have at least one undocumented parent. In fact, some of these children are U.S. citizens because they were born in the country. The Department of Homeland Security’s actions threaten to leave many of these children without parents. In some cases, children have lost their parents to deportation while they were at school, only to come home to find themselves orphaned due to the recent deportation raids.
Deportation threats take a large emotional, physical, and educational toll on these children. These children are less likely to achieve the same educational outcomes as their peers who do not live under the shadow of deportation. In some cases, parents are keeping their children home from school.
Immigrant and undocumented immigrant communities may not always be aware of their rights or the resources available to them. If you or a loved one is facing deportation, an immigration lawyer may be able to help you. Individuals can face deportation for many reasons, from holding an expired visa, to having unlawful status in the U.S. However, there may be solutions for families facing division based on deportation. Visit robrienlaw.com to learn more.
While immigration officers have not entered public schools to issue deportation orders or to remove children from classrooms, there is a climate of fear surrounding the recent raids. And, according to Think Progress, some teens have been arrested on their walk to school by ICE agents. The teens were reportedly at their school bus stop when two U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents accosted them. As it stands the teen is being detained, awaiting deportation. While immigration officers have agreed that they would not deport teens at places like churches, schools, or hospitals, teens have faced deportation while commuting to school. The result of these arrests is immediate. In many cases, school attendance drops after an arrest takes place.
Even students who are legally in the country have expressed fears that attending school would result in the deportation or arrest of a parent or loved one. The reality is that the current raids are creating a climate of fear. Deportation or the risk of deportation can be a traumatic experience. If you or a loved one is facing scrutiny or the threat of deportation, it is important to understand what your options are. The O’Brien Law Group is an immigration lawyer in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky that offers compassionate and caring guidance to individuals whose legal status may be in question.