ICE agents make arrest near Forest Elementary School
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested a man on Thursday, July 27 allegedly near the Forest Elementary School campus. The context of the arrest near FES the week of registration caused some in the city to fear that ICE was monitoring the schools’ registrations, but at the time of this writing the proximity and timing look to be coincidental and unrelated to the school district’s fall registration.
The identity and violation of the arrestee have not been released but it is assumed to be some crime beyond illegally entering the country which drew attention to him.
When asked if ICE had accessed registry rolls, Forest Superintendent, Dr. Joseph White said that no federal enforcement agencies have inquired or requested registry rolls. White said, “No one has hampered our registration — no one was questioned.”
White said that ICE cannot access their records without a formal request and/or court order. White said, “They (ICE) must go through official channels to enter our schools.”
White praised the engagement of Hispanic parents with their children’s progress in class. White noted that at PTO meetings, Hispanic and Latino parents have been proportionally the most active and present of the major demographics in Forest.
Parents of Hispanic or Latino students may or may not have citizenship status, but this has no impact on the eligibility of their children, which were born in the US and are citizens, to attend Forest schools.
The schools do not question the legal status of children or their parents. It is the role of the Federal government to enforce immigration laws and prevent unlawful entry at the border. Once a person is in the United States, it is not legal to pursue immigration sweeps on a defined community based on race.