BY MAYOR BILL de BLASIO
Too many of our public school students and their families are living in fear. They don’t know how new immigration policies coming from Washington might affect them. They worry about what might happen if Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents visited their school.
As your mayor, I want to send a clear message: No matter where you come from or when you got here, the City of New York stands with you. I stand with you. This is your city.
We want every principal and school safety agent to know how to respond if federal immigration officers come knocking. We want every student and every family to know their rights. That’s why we are sending out an updated policy to all of our schools and offering workshops to families.
Our policy is clear. If ICE agents come to a school, they will be kept out of the building until the school staff can assess the situation with our lawyers and with support from the NYPD. ICE officers will not be given any information or allowed to enter any school unless absolutely required by law.
Parents should remember that our schools do not collect information about students’ immigration status. For decades now, it has been our policy not to ask for that info or keep records.
For as long as we need to, the city will be offering workshops to inform parents about their rights and how they can get help in a crisis. We have more than 100 workshops slated to hit every borough with more to come.
Any New Yorker who would like to speak with a lawyer about their immigration status can get high-quality, confidential and free services. For more information on workshops or legal services, dial 311.
If you want to see what is possible in this world, if you want to see human beings of all backgrounds and faiths living, learning and growing together, just visit our public schools. This ultimate city of immigrants educates more than 1.1 million students, who speak more than 170 languages.
We will do everything in our power to keep every single child in every single school safe, nurtured and free of fear.