Keep ICE out of schools
October 23, 2011
Haley Milton’s letter to the editor on Oct. 6 (Glenwood Springs Post Independent) sums up the phrase, “You’re entitled to your own opinions – not your own facts.”
When authorities interpret and implement policies that placate to the lowest common denominators of misconceptions and fear, the whole community suffers. Our local police department’s honorable code, “To Protect and Serve,” has been tainted by the decision to combine ICE and School Resource Officers in our schools.
Combining ICE and SROs implies that Latinos – children and parents – are criminals. Citizenship is not a prerequisite for legal rights afforded to all humans within our borders. Documentation infractions are not violent crimes. Federal courts decide immigration status – not police departments, school boards or the media. Calling anyone “illegal” without due process is derogatory and discriminatory.
SROs are not reliant on immigration enforcement to do the job they signed up to do. SROs do not need ICE to build positive relationships with kids, stop gang crimes, reduce drug and alcohol abuse among minors or bullying in our schools. SROs collaborating with ICE means one thing: “Profiling non-Anglo children to deport the family unit.” Combining ICE with the SRO program is segregationist and barbaric at its core.
All children have Constitutional protections to a public education. The Supreme Court’s ruling Plyler v. Doe U.S. 202 (1982) secured every child’s right to an education, as individuals, under the 14th Amendment. Twenty-nine years is ample time to expand our vision of immigration policy with respect to the family unit. No amount of nationalistic rhetoric can turn a ‘nation of mutts’ into ‘Birther inspired’ papered pedigrees. Discrimination is not patriotic.
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America was built by immigrants. Policy that makes us less human to each other, based on man-made borders, can not be tolerated. It’s time for our community to take hold of what it values – accepting diversity. We cannot continue policy that criminalizes ethnic groups, because some people don’t like them. Combining ICE with the SRO program is segregationist policy. ICE has no place in our schools.