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Miami Schools Vote To Protect Undocumented Immigrants, Refugees

Daniel Bock For the Miami Herald

Miami-Dade school leaders reaffirmed their support for undocumented students Wednesday, joining a growing number of school districts nationwide that have publicly designated schools a safe zone in the face of more aggressive immigration enforcement policies under the Trump administration.

The Miami-Dade County School Board voted to review current laws and district policies to determine what else the district can do to protect undocumented immigrant students.

The intent, said school board member Lubby Navarro, who sponsored the item, is “to ensure that our schools are safe havens for all students and that this message resonates throughout entire communities, our neighborhoods, our barrios, so that everyone knows that our schools are safe for our children and our families.”

The school district already prohibits Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from setting foot on school property or coming to education-related events without an order from a judge. ICE also discourages its agents from carrying out immigration enforcement at schools and other “sensitive locations” like hospitals and churches, Nestor Yglesias, a spokesman for the agency, said in a statement. ICE’s policy states that enforcement at these locations should be avoided except in extreme circumstances or with the approval of a high-level official.

At least a dozen residents and activists spoke in favor of the board item, including 10-year-old Jasmine Lopez, a student at Arcola Lake Elementary whose father is an undocumented immigrant and whose mother is a so-called Dreamer, an immigrant who arrived as a child and has been granted temporary immigration relief.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald