*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

Is School a Safe Zone?

Through both offhand remarks and his official statements, President Donald Trump has repeatedly asserted that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be far more aggressive under his watch. For undocumented immigrants and their families, this has resulted in very tense times, as there are serious questions over when and where ICE agents can conduct an immigration enforcement raid. Many local leaders have sprung into action to try to make certain areas, including schools, protected safe zones for undocumented immigrants.

This issue made national headlines last month, when a federal immigration agent showed up at a Queens elementary school seeking a 4th grader. According to a New York City spokesperson, the agent was turned away at the door of the school. This was the first test of the city’s policy, which officially made its public schools immigration ‘safe zones’. In passing such a policy earlier this year, the city followed a similar move made by other districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

Los Angeles Has Banned Immigration Agents From Public School Grounds

In February, the LAUSD school board voted unanimously to prohibit ICE agents from conducting raids and any other enforcement actions on the grounds of its schools. This was a big move, as LAUSD is the second largest school district in the entire country, serving nearly 750,000 students. In May, the LAUSD school board doubled down on its efforts to make schools a safe zone by formalizing its policies and implementing a program to train teachers and staff to on how to handle interactions with ICE agents.

The Dangers of Being Picked Up in an ICE Raid

Even with the commitment that LAUSD and the city of Los Angeles have made to undocumented immigrants, there are still reasons to be concerned. For example, earlier this year in Lincoln Heights, ICE agents detained a father who had just dropped his child off at a local charter school. While children and parents have some protection inside L.A. public schools, the extent of that protection is not really known, and it does not necessarily extend off of school grounds.

For undocumented immigrants, being picked up in a raid can have very serious consequences, potentially including deportation. Facing any type of ICE questioning related to an enforcement action can be incredibly intimidating. Agents are often aggressive with their questions, and are also reluctant to share helpful information or inform those in custody of their legal rights. If your loved one has been picked up in an immigration raid, it is imperative that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyers Protect the Rights of Immigrants in Southern California

At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to fight for the rights of undocumented immigrants and their families. If you are in need of legal assistance, please do not hesitate to call us today at (213) 514-8870 to schedule your confidential immigration law consultation. From our office in L.A. we serve communities throughout the region, including West Covina, Lakewood and Long Beach.

Josh Goldstein
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