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Educators Prepare for Immigration Agents at the Schoolhouse

In January, New York City’s schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, sent a letter home to students’ families, reassuring them that the city was not keeping records of their immigration status and that immigration agents would not be roaming schools unfettered.

But that has not kept the questions from coming, said Maite Junco, a senior adviser at the city’s Education Department.

School administrators and parents who are worried about the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants want “details on exactly how the process works,” Ms. Junco said. “In a circumstance where ICE shows up at the school,” she said, using the acronym for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “what is the minute-by-minute protocol almost.” Ms. Junco said the department is planning to circulate more detailed guidelines to schools in the coming days.

Across the region — and the country — education officials are facing a similar flood of questions from principals and frantic parents, especially in districts with large numbers of immigrants, some of whom are undocumented. In response, states have distributed letters to superintendents about asking for warrants and subpoenas from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Reminders have circulated that schools are never to ask families about their immigration status when they enroll their children. And districts have circulated memos about what to do if federal immigration officers show up at the schoolhouse door.