Home > Uncategorized > “Government Schools” Are a Bad Thing, But Government Orphanages Do a “Very, Very Good Job”

“Government Schools” Are a Bad Thing, But Government Orphanages Do a “Very, Very Good Job”

Of all of the Executive Orders made by President Trump, the one that is unarguably the worst for the well-being of children is the one to separate children from their mothers when they are detained at the border or in a situation where the child was born in the country to a mother who is an undocumented resident of the country.

Earlier this week NYTimes writer Elizabeth Harris reported on the impact of this Executive Order on children who find themselves with the possibility of losing their parent as a result of this policy. To date, no schools have been raided by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, but school districts are affected by the fear such a potential raid raises in their students.

“If you’re sitting there in math class wondering if someone is going to burst through the door and pick you up, you’re not going to be learning math well,” said William Clark, chief operating officer of the New Haven Board of Education in Connecticut. “The kids should not be worried about this. They’re here to learn.”

And even though schools are currently off-limits to ICE raids, administrators and school boards are concerned because, in Ms. Harris words,  immigration policies have changed sharply and without much warning. So across the country school districts are being advised of the information they must share and the information that should remain confidential:

For the moment, much of what school systems are offering is guidance, and whether it is written by the Connecticut public university system, the New York City Education Department or the State of Virginia, many of the recommendations are similar. Schools often say student information must not be shared without a court order or subpoena. They instruct that if an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer comes looking for a student, the school officials should demand to see a warrant and review it carefully to find out what exactly it permits.

“The law does provide protections for students, and there are limitations of what law enforcement can do,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York. “We’re doing our best to fill in the background and to tell them that students have a lot of rights.”

Many guidance documents also offer advice on how to prepare for raids that might happen outside school.

One question that has not been clearly answered for the resident children who are citizens and who lose their parents is what happens to them? The treatment of families captured trying to enter the country might be an indication. A post yesterday from Diane Ravitch included a link to a CNN story that included a portion of an interview between Wolf Blitzer and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chief John Kelly. When asked about how the government will deal with children who are separated from their parents at the point of illegal entry, Mr. Kelly responded:

“We have tremendous experience of dealing with unaccompanied minors. We turn them over to (Health and Human Services) and they do a very, very good job of putting them in foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the United States.”

So presumably the ICE officers who raid the home of an undocumented mother will also have the authority to turn them over to Health and Human Services who will do a “very, very good job of putting them in foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the United States“. That would be the HHS Department that is expected to incur deep cuts in their budget in the year ahead. But children shouldn’t worry: DHS along with the military will be getting a boost in spending, part of which is intended to build and staff detention centers to house the refugee families who are attempting to cross the border to seek asylum in our country. Once the refugee children are turned over to HHS there will be room for the children of undocumented parents who fled to this country years ago, some of whom have paid taxes and held jobs during that time.

In the meantime, those children should focus on boosting the standardized test scores and pay no attention to the threats of losing their parents… If worse comes to worse they might end up in a foster home where their new parents can use vouchers to place them in a for profit or sectarian school where they can adjust to the new country they can now live in without fear.

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