U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for incarcerating people, including children, who they suspect are undocumented immigrants.
Certainly there are undocumented minors among W.H. Adamson High School’s approximately 1,520 Hispanic students, about 600 of whom are limited English speakers.
So what was the Border Patrol doing at Adamson this week?
Principal Diana Nuñez says Border Patrol recruiters were at the school for a job fair Wednesday, and they were not there to investigate anyone’s immigration status. But families weren’t warned of the federal law enforcement agency’s presence ahead of time.
Rumors quickly spread that officers were there to find undocumented families, and parents began receiving frantic texts from their kids, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“It was never our intent to cause anxiety or additional concern among our community,” Nuñez stated in a letter to families. “In hindsight, we realize this may have been insensitive to some and apologize to our students, staff and family for any unnecessary distress that their presence may have caused.”
Nuñez added that the school should be a safe space for students and that educators are not immigration authorities. She wrote that the school will “tighten our selection process to better reflect the needs of our students both ethnically and equitably.”
The Border Patrol recruiters were asked to leave after concerns arose.
Under federal law, schools are not allowed to ask families about immigration status. Dallas ISD in 2017 approved a resolution declaring campuses as protective spaces for all students regardless of immigration status. The district is developing a plan to take care of its students in the event their parents or caretakers are detained for immigration violations.