ACLU, ELC & NJAIJ Urge Commissioner to Ensure Schools Are Safe Havens for Immigrants

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Representatives for the Education Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice sent a letter to Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington urging her to take immediate actions to ensure public schools remain welcoming spaces for immigrant students.

The groups urged the Commissioner to take immediate action to reaffirm the state’s strong public policy against discrimination and to ensure safe and welcoming school environments. More than one-fifth of NJ’s residents are foreign-born, and the state’s population is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse in the country. Enrollment data in NJ public schools reflects that diversity. 

According to the Group, action should include directing superintendents and principals “that all New Jersey public schools operate as safe havens” and declaring that the personally identifiable information of students and their families “will be protected to the fullest extent possible under the law,” 

The groups also requested that the commissioner provide professional development opportunities for school employees regarding legal requirements for protecting student information and strategies to maintain safe learning environments.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed executive actions to jumpstart construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, to withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities” that harbor undocumented immigrants, and to direct resources toward deporting undocumented immigrants.

Source: ELC / Politico Pro