Thursday, February 23, 2017

Feds need a warrant to get into public schools; what’s wrong with that idea?

When you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. Although I can already envision the nativist element of our society ranting and raging about the unjustness of the Chicago Public Schools’ new policy.

I’m referring to the memorandum sent out this week to principals throughout the city school system, informing them that any agents of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had better have proper arrest warrants on them if they decide to set foot on any school property.

IF THEY HAVE such warrants indicating they’re looking for a specific individual and also details exactly what it is they suspect that individual of, then no one is going to even remotely think of telling those agents to stop.

But if they think they can come onto school properties on a fishing expedition, of sorts, in hopes of finding evidence of people in violation of federal immigration laws, then it is only proper that such actions ought to be halted. Although it should be noted that officials say that immigration officials haven't actually tried showing up at schools. Not yet!

While I realize some people with a “law and order” mentality think police ought to be given great authority to scour amongst our society, the fact is that we expect law enforcement personnel to show some sort of cause before we allow them to legitimately restrict someone’s freedom.

That is the American Way, even though we now have the Trump mentality developing that thinks a more authoritarian way of doing things is somehow more appropriate.

TO BE SPECIFIC about this new policy, Chicago Public Schools chief education officer Janice Jackson wrote to principals to tell them they should forbid federal immigration officials from setting foot on school property unless they have that warrant.

Which would mean that a federal judge somewhere has given at least a cursory review to the circumstances and decided that there is a legitimate reason to be suspicious.

School officials also are making an effort to gather up more information about their students that would be needed in the event that a parent gets caught up in an immigration situation. The schools want to be informed about who is next in line to be responsible for a child if the parents suddenly “disappear.”

All of this is coming about because of fears that immigration, in this era of Trump, is going to step up its efforts and will be overbearing in its desire to remove people from our society whom some amongst us are determined to believe should never have been here to begin with.

I’VE NOTICED AMONGST my own Facebook friends those who live in neighborhoods with higher-than-average populations of non-Anglo residents warnings that “ICE agents” are out and about, on the lookout for people whom they want to believe are candidates for deportation.

People are feeling the need to be wary. The Obama era of wanting to think that such people have a place in our society and do make worthy contributions is most definitely over.

In fact, I wonder if amongst the Trump-ites, which Obama-era sentiment is a bigger priority to erase – serious immigration reform or health care reform.

It may be amongst the nativist element that foreigners, particularly if they habla en Español, are a bigger threat than having one’s tax dollars help to cover the cost of providing health insurance to all (or as many as possible).

IN LIGHT OF such attitudes spreading through our neighborhoods, it is reassuring that schools officials are showing a little bit of sense. And because they’re asking to see a warrant, it means legitimate law enforcement efforts won’t be thwarted.
Do ideologues hate health care or immigration more?

Just like the concept of “sanctuary cities” does NOT mean that people without valid Visas are capable of hiding out in Chicago, or any other place with that distinction.

It’s about requiring Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to do their own work, which makes sense because they’re the ones trained in the nuances of immigration policy. Local cops have enough to do without being required to add immigration tasks to their work load – even though the new Trump policies seem to want to make just such an addition.

Just as schools officials have enough responsibilities to deal with, without having to monitor their student bodies and try to figure out which ones have parents whose immigration status is questionable!


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