Orange County, Fla. - The Orange County Teachers Union is urging the school district to declare all schools as sanctuary zones for immigrant students and their families.
Union president Wendy Doromal told Eyewitness News Channel 9, “We've heard stories of children putting mementos in their backpack because they fear that they'll go home and their parents might not be there.” This as President Trump has called for tougher immigration enforcement.
Orange County School Board Chairman Bill Sublette issued a statement in response, “We would want every parent out there to know, regardless of their immigrant status, that your child is safe while at Orange County Public Schools and they will continue to be safe there.”
OCPS said it has not received any reports of students being arrested, interrogated or searched by immigration officers on any school campus. Sublette also said, said the district doesn’t collect immigration information or work with enforcement agents.
The district released this statement:
"The OCPS Office of Legal Services continues to monitor any policies and memorandums promulgated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office. However, as of today, the last two memorandums regarding the enforcement of immigration laws at “sensitive locations” were issued on October 24, 2011 and on January 13, 2013. Both memorandums, which are still valid, reflect that there will not be enforcement activities by the agency “at or near schools, places of worship, and certain other community locations” absent “exigent circumstances.” To date, there have not been any reports of individuals being arrested, interrogated, or searched on OCPS campuses by immigration officers for possible offenses. OCPS does not collect information regarding immigration status. We make safety our top priority and schools remain a safe place for all our students to learn and develop."