“Sanctuary Schools” Defy Immigration Crackdown
By Colton R. Overcash | August 23, 2018
Public school districts are the latest group to join the sanctuary madness in America. (The school districts’ actions are going beyond the law’s requirement to educate all students regardless of their immigration status.) In a resounding rebuke of the Trump Administration and its immigration agenda, several school boards have recently declared their districts “safe havens” or “sanctuaries,” meaning they offer protections to illegal aliens residing in the districts against deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
On August 14, Upper Darby School Board in Pennsylvania adopted a resolution declaring the school district a safe haven for illegal alien families. The resolution reads:
Whereas the Upper Darby School Board is committed to the success of all students, regardless of immigration status; all schools within Upper Darby School District will be a welcoming place for students and families to seek help, assistance, information, and safety if faced with feat [sic] and anxiety about immigration enforcement.
Of course, Upper Darby is not the first school district to give sanctuary to illegal aliens. It joins hundreds more with policies ranging from just vaguely creating a “welcoming environment” to specifically not cooperating with federal immigration officials without a warrant, subpoena, or court order.
In California alone—where about 250,000 illegal alien children are enrolled in public schools and 750,000 have at least one illegal parent—over 113 school districts and county offices of education have declared themselves sanctuaries or safe havens for illegal aliens. Unfortunately, a majority of these districts have gone to extreme lengths with their sanctuary policies. Some districts will even “spread the word” to illegal aliens if ICE personnel are in the area, potentially inviting federal criminal charges against the school district under the alien smuggling/harboring statute (8 U.S. Code § 1324).
That may well have been what happened in O’Neill, Nebraska on August 8. After being informed that ICE was conducting operations against local businesses, school officials offered sanctuary to anyone affected. The timeline is still not entirely clear, but they may have even warned some illegal aliens in advance or during the ICE operation, potentially leading to some evading arrest.
Educators, like everyone else, are of course entitled to their own opinions about the immigration laws of this country, but do not have the right to disregard them. They need to be cognizant of the message they are sending their students. Do school districts really have the authority to decide which federal laws they’re going to obey and which ones they’re going to ignore? Can the nation expect the next generation of Americans to follow its laws if those who are shaping their minds willfully ignore them?