The Chicago Tribune is reporting that principals at the city’s public schools are barring immigration officers without entry warrants from entering school premises — on the orders of Chicago Public School (CPS) officials who disagree with President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“To be very clear, CPS does not provide assistance to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law,” the message to principals said.
The defiance is largely viewed as an assurance to the large immigrant population in the crime-ridden metropolis. Chicago has the third-largest school system in the U.S.
Almost 50 percent of Chicago’s 381,000 students are Hispanic, and some parents are worried that they will be separated from their children by ICE officers.
The Department of Homeland Security is planning to employ thousands of new immigration and border control officers to target criminal illegal aliens — those who have committed a crime or have charges pending.
There is no evidence that ICE has any intention of invading Chicago’s schools — with or without a warrant — and CPS has admitted that to the Tribune.
If officers do show up with warrants, it would be illegal for any school principal to stop them from entering school property.
Instructions from the Trump administration do not deviate from those of the previous president that restricted enforcement at “sensitive locations” such as schools. The policy continues to be one that encourages officers not to detain people in those locations but does not prohibit them from doing so if given the appropriate legal authority.
There are precedents for CPS’s reaction. In Syracuse, New York, ICE officials were told to consult with a superintendent before attempting to enter a school. Similar resolutions are being discussed or have been issued in Salt Lake City, Utah, New York City and in the state of Connecticut.
But immigration analysts say the crisis is entirely manufactured from a political agenda and it is highly unlikely that schools will be the focus of stand-offs between ICE officers and school kids.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., said the CPS and other school boards are just”showing off.”
“It could well affect them, but again that has nothing to do with the school grounds,” he said. “It’s not like ICE goes in there and says, ‘Drop that tater tot, kid.'”
Follow David on Twitter