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Chicago Public Schools Vow To Defend Immigrant Students

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Just days after President Donald Trump's administration released more aggressive guidelines for immigration enforcement and deportation policies, Chicago public schools are offering their response. The district says it will deny federal immigration agents access to their schools without criminal arrest warrants.

The Chicago Board of Education "hereby prohibits unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of immigration status with respect to participation in [Chicago Public Schools] programs, services or activities," the district stated in a December resolution.

"To be very clear, CPS does not provide assistance to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law," the Board wrote in a memo released on Feb. 21, notes CNN. "Therefore, ICE should not be permitted access to CPS facilities or personnel except in the rare instance in which we are provided with a criminal warrant."

"ICE agents should wait outside while the school is reviewing the matter with the Law Department," a list of guidelines sent to the district's principals notes, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"If a child is left stranded at your school and you suspect it is because his or her parent is detained, please exhaust the child's emergency contact list," the guidelines add. "Please have a staff member remain with the student until the parent, guardian or emergency contact can arrive."

"While many of our families have serious concerns and anxiety about recent federal actions and statements, we want to make sure that parents know school is a safe place for all students regardless of their race, ethnicity or country of origin," Janice Jackson, the school system's Chief Education Officer, wrote in a statement.

According to The Washington Times, on Feb. 16, Trump addressed his tightening of immigration and deportation policies. "I love these kids, I love kids, I have kids and grandkids and I find it very hard doing what the law says exactly to do and, you know, the law is rough," Trump said. "It's rough, very very rough."

Sources: CPS, CNN, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times / Photo credit: Maryland GovPics/Flickr

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