Police Argue Against School-Issued Guide on Immigration Raids
Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm
There is a debate brewing in San Diego over how much schools should teach students about their rights in immigration raids and deportation proceedings, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported this weekend. As immigration enforcement efforts grow, some schools across the country have handed out guides telling students to “protect yourself from immigration raids!” and detailing strategies to avoid giving up incriminating information. But law enforcement officers aren’t so happy with the way they are portrayed, arguing the pictures “don’t tell the whole picture” and make police look scary:
The pictures in the pamphlet, which was created by lawyers from the immigrant rights advocacy group CASA de Maryland, are somewhat frightening: In the cover image, large-looking policemen lead visibly upset man out the door in handcuffs. Local police told the Union-Tribune the pictures were inappropriate, particularly coming from public schools. A spokeswoman from Immigration and Custom Enforcement spokesmen disagreed, saying the pamphlet “offers sound and practical information about the enforcement process.”
School district officials said they distributed the pamphlet after receiving reports of students performing poorly in school because they were worried about their immigration status. All children — documented or not — can attend public school as long as they meet state requirements for age and residency.
None of the advice offered in the pamphlet is illegal — it simply helps illegal immigrants avoid making mistakes that could betray their status. Still, some parents argued the information encouraged illegal immigration and the evasion of laws.
Advice from the pamphlet, via the Union-Tribune:
•?Don’t lie. Don’t give false testimony.
•?Don’t give government officials information about your immigration status.
•?Don’t say anything, or say only: “I need to speak to my lawyer.”
•?Don’t carry papers from another country because the government can use this material in a deportation proceeding.
•?Stay calm and don’t run. These actions may be viewed as an admission that you have something to hide.
•?Government officials may try to intimidate you or trick you into signing documents. You may be signing away your right to a hearing before an immigration judge.
•?You have the right to see a search warrant. Don’t open the door; ask authorities to slip the document underneath the door.
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