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Friday, February 17, 2017

FCPS says schools are safe in wake of ICE raids

A newsletter from Woodburn Elementary School ensures parents that “schools are safe” and aren’t expected to be targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

Children who live in the Fairmont Gardens apartments in Annandale, where there have been ICE raids in recent days, attend Woodburn. The raids have led to fear among the undocumented population worried about being deported.

Despite concerns that immigrant parents would keep their children at home, John Torre, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools, says Woodburn hasn’t experienced high absenteeism.

Eric Johnson, the principal of Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, also sent a message reassuring parents that the school is safe.

Both emails from Woodburn and Sleepy Hollow state the following:

“Some families have expressed concerns for the safety and treatment of their children in school and in the larger community following recent news reports of increased activity by [ICE], Families are also concerned about news reports about migrants and refugees. Our responsibility as a school system is to educate every child, and FCPS has a long history of educating children from international families.”

“It is important to note that there are no reports of ICE officials visiting schools or stopping students from attending school in Fairfax County. FCPS strongly supports the right of every student and family in our schools to be safe and free from harassment on the bus, at school, and at school activities.”

The emails say current ICE policy states that “schools are to be considered sensitive locations for immigration enforcement and that arrests, interviews, searches, and surveillance should not occur at schools unless under exigent circumstances.”

UPDATED, Feb. 18: Julie Easa, principal of Bailey’s Lower Elementary School, put out a similar notice to parents in the school's weekly new report dated Feb. 17.

31 comments:

  1. Law enforcement is harassment?

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    1. Now we are teaching parents and students that Law Enforcement doing their job is considered harassment. Is this for real?

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    2. If you think law enforcement is harassment than you are the problem not law enforcement.

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  2. If you are undocumented you should be worried about deportation. It is a fact. All other countries are very stringent on entering countries without proper papers. The last administration stopped enforcing our laws in this area, so this isn't something new, just something that has not been done in awhile - the effect of not enforcing our laws is more undocumented aliens in this country. This strains schools systems, health care and the economy. Insurance rates for cars and health insurance rise to counter effect those that are here burdening the system. Immigration is great, when done correctly.

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    1. That's not true. Obama was tougher on immigration than Bush. You're entitled to your own opinions. Not your own facts.

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    2. Obama counted those turned away at the border in his numbers of deporation which had never been done before. Please check your facts.

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    3. If it makes you both feel any better, you're both kind of right. Beginning in 2008, ICE began counting border removals in its deportation statistics. This continued during the Obama administration.

      As for Obama being tougher on immigration:
      "If you want to say that he’s removed more people than any other administration, then that’s true," Brown said. "If you want to say he hasn’t actually expelled more people than any other president, that might also be true."

      http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jul/15/lou-dobbs/lou-dobbs-obama-administration-manipulated-deporta/

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  3. There were 150 kids absent from Woodburn yesterday. Maybe it would be safer for those kids to, you know, actually stay in school. They are only hurting themselves by not being there.

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    1. Is this truth, or an alternative fact?

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    2. Where do you get that number?

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  4. As a first generation immigrant myself, I totally agree Anonymous 2/17/17, 11:23 AM. Most people don't know or realize the negative effects of unchecked immigration. Every country has immigration laws for a reason, to maintain the integrity of a civil society. It's just common sense. We can't just walk into Harvard and say we are Harvard students. I can't just walk into your house and say I am part of your family. People can't just walk in this country and demand to stay here. Simply common sense.

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    1. Oh you can in Fairfax. All they need is to tell Fairfax Zoning inspectors that the 500 people in their house are their siblings. And Zoning enforcement say of course, thank you very much, hasta la vista.

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  5. ICE is playing liberally with its "sensitive location" policy though, as evidenced by them camping outside a church hypothermia shelter. When questioned about how that seemed to go against their sensitive location policy (churches are also "sensitive locations"), a spokesperson said "we picked them up across the street, not actually on the church grounds". http://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2017/02/alexandria-ice-raid-near-church-raises-questions

    I gotta say, nothing in those emails from FCPS (I received one) gives me any confidence that ICE is going to stay away from the schools given the way ICE went after that church hypothermia shelter.

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    1. I am not happy that they could be disrupting the educations of every student who isn't related to an undocumented immigrant; although I suppose this is real-world education.

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  6. I don't like the idea that kids would be targeted at schools, but I also hate the thought that there might be 150 undocumented children at Woodburn Elem. That cannot possibly true, and if it is that would be horrific.

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    1. At this point (9:10 a.m. on the 19th) that commenter hasn't responded to three follow-up questions, failing to cite any source of their information, omitting what the average daily attendance there is and neglecting to acknowledge other potential causes of school absences. (Ahem: it's flu season, and there's a real doozy of a bug going 'round. Elementary school children pass that stuff to one another quite efficiently.) Like you, I question the legitimacy of that comment until they provide more info.

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  7. having kids not in school will lead to more crime and more problems.

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  8. Just want to thank the coommenters for their civil tone. Nice to read such thoughtful and respectful comments.

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  9. I hope ICE is scouting schools for gangs. Two recent revelations about gang murders locally are two to many. And ALL immigrants should support law enforcement efforts.

    Fairfax County Police had a gang task force before 2008 but haven't heard about them for a long time.

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  10. The moral of this story is don't complain about ICE "threatening" your family if you're responsible for them being threatened. If I were a DACA kid, I'd be outraged at my parents - not ICE - for putting me in a legal limbo. I cannot imagine anything worse than being deported to a country that I can't even remember.

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  11. The gang problem is off the charts in Springfield and Annandale, in large part to the throwing open of the immigration doors in 2015... it's a huge problem, and I'm personally nervous about the safety of my kids attending local high schools...
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/five-charged-with-murder-in-gang-related-death-of-gaithersburg-teen/2017/02/16/7d3f708e-f46c-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html?utm_term=.7dd1bb47424d

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    1. Gangs have infiltrated many of the schools in Annandale including Annandale High School and Poe. These schools have permanent "resource" officers from FCPD walking the halls. My children have witnessed gang fights at Annandale HS.

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  12. Let's round them all up in their homes, churches, schools, hospitals, workplaces and where ever else to further push them into the shadows and margins of society. Let's make sure that whatever productivity or contributions they were exhibiting now translates to more crime, more gang activity, economic, and social burden for all. Sound about right? Ok, let's continue on with the ICE raids and pretend to be shock that crime is actually increasing and not falling. Let's over police but, do nothing to address the real socioeconomic issues or help bring in and create an educated, productive workforce.

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    1. Or we could just deport them and make them go back to their country of origin until they have a means to come here legally and contribute meaningfully to society.

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    2. Well if it's a matter of formalities, why not give them the necessary paperwork, have them fill it out pay their fees and fines and move on since they are already here. Pretty simple fix to a problem people like you love to over complicate. As stated, the vast majority are already contributing meaningfully to society.

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    3. ^ 7:09: Stop making sense!

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    4. The problem is that most of these people would not qualify to be here legally. They lack education and/or skill sets to enter here. A number of them have criminal records or lack of money to afford entry. There is a reason we limit their numbers, because they become a burden on our society. They live multiple families in the same housing, do not pay the same taxes, send income back to home countries instead of our economy.

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  13. It's so hard to be a legal foreign republican nowadays without being bullied for it!

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  14. I used to go to Woodburn Elementary 25 years ago, as a legal foreign immigrant, and I still say, deport those whom are illegal in this area!

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    1. I get the strong feeling that nowadays, some people just want every/any immigrant out, legal or not.

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