How can school exams affect deportation?

Parents from other countries are often willing to make great sacrifices to give their children a better future. That may include allowing them to study in the U.S. education system.

Yet, if their route to the U.S. was not entirely legal, the kid’s school could end up contributing to the chances that the family’s American dream ends. At least, that is what many kids who lack full resident status believe.

U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) says it tries to avoid enforcement in places such as schools, but many are not so sure. Even if ICE does not act directly there, schools have police officers who can charge kids with crimes that could harm their chances of ever achieving legal status. By bringing them to the attention of the law, it could also increase their chance of deportation.

Some children say school staff members have threatened to report them to ICE

They allege they are told not to turn up when exams are happening. Why? Because the schools fear these kids will do poorly and bring down the school average, putting off other potential parents and funders.

While children who have arrived from non-English speaking countries can soon pick up the language and often overtake many of their peers academically, it takes time. Others may struggle because both parents must work, so they need to spend time cooking and caring for younger siblings, which cuts into their study time.

Moving to a new country and starting a new school in another language is hard enough as it is without having to worry about ICE. Getting legal help to secure your children’s right to stay improves your chance they get the brighter future they deserve. 

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