SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Because of fear over recent immigration raids, Shelby County Schools is making it clear: parents still need to bring their kids to school.
Right now, parents are enrolling their kids for the new school year.
“Shelby County Schools’ mission is to serve all families and provide the best education possible education to all students regardless of their immigration status,” said Brian Stockton, SCS Chief of Staff.
Stockton stood with leaders and activists in the Latino Community Friday and explained why fear from ICE activity should not impact education.
“To register your kids, we do not require a social security card, birth certificate or any type of immigration document,” he repeated multiple times.
Stockton also said SCS does not share students’ information with anyone.
SCS Board Chairman Chris Caldwell told WREG they plan to have a meeting with the Latino Community to address concerns.
“The school is a safe haven, and those officers can’t come on the grounds of the school,” he said.
An ICE spokesperson said agents have been conducting an operation in Shelby County and are targeting adults who illegally entered the country as children and those connected to gangs and crime.
Latino Memphis said at least a dozen people have been arrested without judicial or criminal warrants and fear is at an all-time high.
“I want you to think about the consequences. You honestly believe parents are going to stand in this corner waiting for a bus to pick up their kids to go to school while immigration is running and randomly picking people up?” said Latino Memphis Executive Director Mauricio Calvo.
The district reports nearly 13,000 Hispanic students were enrolled in the 2014-2015 and nearly 14,000 the year after that.
School starts August 7.
“We have to make sure the students are in there so we can educate them,” said Stockton. “Because the kids, all kids, are the facilitators of the future of Memphis, and we want to make sure we do our part.”
Any child born in the United States is a citizen, regardless of the parent’s immigration status.