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Education not Deportation: Make NYC a True Sanctuary City

This petition had 1,070 supporters

Dear Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Fariña,

As teachers, educators and school support staff serving students and families of all immigration statuses, we oppose the Obama administration’s recent directives that have resulted in invasive immigration raids within our communities. At a time of highly visible threats against immigrant communities on a national level, we are dismayed that the federal government supports xenophobia through these violent tactics.

The misnomer "felons, not families" ignores the truth that people with criminal records include our students and their families who have been caught up in racist and punitive policing policies. ICE continues to separate children from families through raids, detention, and deportation.  As long as this continues, our city cannot be considered a true sanctuary city for immigrants, and we must change that.  

We are worried about our students and their parents and relatives. A climate of fear is leading to increased student absence and decreased academic performance in our schools. Students cannot focus on education when their basic security is at risk, knowing that they or a family member could be picked up at any moment.  

As New York City public school teachers, we ask that our city government do its part to respond.  We ask that the offices of the Chancellor and the Mayor take explicit steps to support undocumented and mixed status families whose children attend NYC schools. We have seen Los Angeles and other school districts listed below, come out with affirmative resolutions in support of immigrant communities, and we ask our elected officials and their appointees to do the same.

In the face of this frightening climate, we see an opportunity for our government leaders to showcase how welcoming NYC schools can be.

We ask that the NYC Department of Education:

  • Join school districts from San Francisco, Montgomery County MD, and Los Angeles in publicly stating that all students and families are welcome in NYC schools, regardless of immigration status, and that ICE is barred from entering any school building.  In the current climate this statement would affirm to immigrant families that schools are places to find support, not terror.  
  • Provide direct and immediate support to any NYC student and/or family member facing deportation hearings and provides sufficient resources to schools to do so.

We ask that the Mayor’s office:

  • Publicly acknowledge that ICE raids are happening in New York City on a regular basis. 
  • Ensure that the NYPD does not target students and families on their way to and from school.  

Our communities need protection from a broken immigration system and a broken policing system. We implore you, as our elected leaders, to say no to raids and demand an end to deportations.


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