UPCOMING EVENT | The Impact of Immigration Enforcement Policies on Teaching and Learning in America’s Public Schools

education2WHEN: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 11:30am-1:30pm

WHERE: 5th Floor, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP


There has been considerable discussion in news outlets about the impact of immigration enforcement policies on children and families. Recent incidents across the country and reported in the press have raised alarm throughout immigrant communities. Clearly there is great fear in this hyper-sensitized environment. To what extent is this ramped up immigration enforcement impacting our nation’s public schools? How does it vary by region and what is the “collateral” fallout for non-immigrant students? How are educators reacting and to what extent is this affecting them? What rights do students have and what happens to U.S.-citizen children when they are sent to a country and school system they do not know? To address these questions, four new research papers will be presented with brief highlights. There will be ample time for Q&A and discussion. The studies include:

•         A new national survey of the impact of immigration enforcement on teaching and learning in the nation’s schools
•         The impact of immigration enforcement on educators
•         Federal and state policy affecting the children of immigrants and their schooling
•         What happens to U.S. citizen students caught up in deportation of family members


A light lunch will be served at 11:30am. The program will begin at 12:00pm.

Co-sponsored by:


Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Patricia Gándara, Co-Director, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, UCLA

Bryant Jensen, Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University

Shena Sanchez, Research Associate, University of California, Los Angeles

Julie Sugarman, Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President, National Education Association

Claudio Sanchez, Education Correspondent, National Public Radio

Click to RSVP

Armored SUV could not protect U.S. agents in Mexico

The Washington Post, 2/15/12

When U.S. special agent Jaime Zapata was shot dead one year ago on a notorious stretch of highway in central Mexico, he was driving a $160,000 armored Chevy Suburban, built to exacting government standards, designed to defeat high-velocity gunfire, fragmentation grenades and land mines.

But the vehicle had a basic, fatal flaw.Forced off the road in a well-coordinated ambush, surrounded by drug cartel gunmen brandishing AK-47s, Zapata and his partner, Victor Avila, rolled to a stop. Zapata put the vehicle in park. The door locks popped up.

That terrifying sound — a quiet click — set into motion events that remain under investigation. When Zapata needed it most, the Suburban’s elaborate armoring was rendered worthless by a consumer-friendly automatic setting useful for family vacations and hurried commuters but not for U.S. agents driving through a red zone in Mexico.

Read more…

Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans

The New York Times, 11/13/11

A growing number of United States citizens have been detained under Obama administration programs intended to detect illegal immigrants who are arrested by local police officers.

In a spate of recent cases across the country, American citizens have been confined in local jails after federal immigration agents, acting on flawed information from Department of Homeland Security databases, instructed the police to hold them for investigation and possible deportation.

Americans said their vehement protests that they were citizens went unheard by local police officers and jailers for days, with no communication with federal immigration agents to clarify the situation. Any case where an American is held, even briefly, for immigration investigation is a potential wrongful arrest because immigration agents lack legal authority to detain citizens.

Read More…

Immigration authority terminates Secure Communities agreements

Washington Post, 8/7/11

A key immigration enforcement program that has drawn criticism from some state and local governments will terminate all existing agreements with jurisdictions over the program, federal authorities announced Friday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its director, John Morton, had sent a letter to state governors terminating the agreements “to avoid further confusion.”

Read more…

Tension over Obama policies within Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Washington Post, 8/27/2010

As it poises for further immigration initiatives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is struggling with festering internal divisions between political appointees and career officials over how to enforce laws and handle detainees facing deportation.

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security has shifted its focus away from the worksite raids and sweeps employed during George W. Bush’s presidency to deporting more criminals and creating less prisonlike detention settings. But ICE, a branch of DHS, is facing intensified resistance from agency middle managers and attorneys, and the union that represents immigration officers.

The internal conflict has grown increasingly public over ICE’s plans, among them to expand a risk assessment tool to guide agents on detention decisions, cut down on transfers of detained immigrants, and open more “civil” detention facilities — what field directors call “soft” detention.

Immigration officers say the new measures limit their enforcement efforts and the revamped lockups will compromise their safety. In June, their union took the unprecedented step of issuing a vote of no confidence in the agency’s director, John Morton, and the official overseeing detention reform, Phyllis Coven.

Read more…

Editorial: Attacking the Heart of the Border Problem

Secretary Janet Napolitano, Arizona Republic, 7/19/2010

Over the past year and a half, the Obama administration has pursued a new border-security strategy with an unprecedented sense of urgency, making historic investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure while combating the transnational criminal organizations that smuggle weapons, cash and people across the United States border.

This has forced these criminal organizations to find new routes and build new strategies, many of which have disproportionately impacted the Tucson Sector of Arizona.

As a former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, Arizona governor and attorney general, and now U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, I know firsthand that Arizona has endured more than its share of challenges stemming from our Southwest border. This is particularly true in the Tucson Sector, where smugglers seek to illegally move people and goods into the United States. We continue to take decisive action to disrupt these organizations and the networks they utilize in their criminal activity.

We’re doing this by deploying hundreds of additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Border Patrol Agents and other personnel to bolster efforts to target criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety. This will also enhance our ability to conduct outbound inspections, patrol challenging terrain and interdict illicit smugglers.

To support these efforts, we are opening a new ICE office in Ajo, deploying a Border Enforcement Security Task Force Jump Team in Douglas, and forging new partnerships with our intelligence counterparts in Mexico.

We are also reassigning major technology assets, including mobile surveillance systems, thermal-imaging binocular units, and trucks equipped with detection scopes, as well as observation and utility aircraft, to the Tucson Sector to enhance and expand our capability to detect illicit activities along the border.

Finally, we continue to see record referrals for criminal prosecution from DHS to the Justice Department of convicted felons who illegally re-enter the United States through Arizona.

ICE Launches Workplace Immigration Crackdown

DHS LOGOAssociated Press, 7/1/2009

The Obama administration launched investigations of hundreds of businesses around the country Wednesday as part of its strategy to focus immigration enforcement on the employers who hire illegal workers.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun notifying businesses of plans to audit their I-9 forms — employment eligibility documents that employers fill out for every worker — the agency told members of Congress in an e-mail Wednesday.

Immigration officers served “Notices of Inspection” to 625 businesses, the Homeland Security Department said. By comparison, 503 such notices were issued to businesses last year, the agency said.

Read more…

Immigration duties undermine police role: study

Reuters, 5/21/2009

Anti-immigrant advocates may use swine flu to push for enforcement

A U.S. government program empowering local police officers to enforce immigration laws undermines their efforts to maintain public safety, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Around 11.9 million mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants live and work in the United States, and Americans are sharply divided over what to do with them.

The report by the nonpartisan Police Foundation criticized aspects of the 287 (g) program run by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which deputizes officers from local police agencies to enforce immigration laws.

The study, drawing on input from focus groups and police and community representatives, argued that the program created mistrust between local police and immigrant communities.

Read more…

L.A. detainees sue immigration authorities over holding conditions

Los Angeles Times, 3/3/2009

Federal authorities are violating immigrant detainees’ constitutional rights by holding them for weeks at a detention facility in downtown Los Angeles that was designed as a short-term processing center, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

“We just want them to follow the minimum standards guaranteed by the Constitution and the statutory rights the detainees have,” Orihuela said.

The center is “regularly overcrowded, causing violence, safety hazards and humiliation,” while detainees are denied access to attorneys and courts and are rarely provided drinking water or a change of clothing, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Immigration Law Center and the Paul Hastings law firm.

Read more…

Delay in Immigration Raids May Signal Policy Change

Washington Post, 3/29/2009

immigration_and_customs_enforcement_swatHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces in recent weeks, asking agents in her department to apply more scrutiny to the selection and investigation of targets as well as the timing of raids, federal officials said.

A senior department official said the delays signal a pending change in whom agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement choose to prosecute — increasing the focus on businesses and executives instead of ordinary workers.

Read more…