MPS Reassures Families: 'We Won't Share Immigrant Status With Federal Officials'

Feb 22, 2017

Concern over new federal immigration policies has spread to local school districts. 

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday a broad rewrite of immigration enforcement rules. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the new actions expand the number of immigrants to be prioritized for deportation -- some say, up to 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

And parents in Milwaukee are asking what this could mean for their students. 

Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent Darienne Driver sent a message to families Wednesday, to answer parent questions about immigration and refugee status. 

She expressed the district's commitment to protect student information, calling MPS a "save haven of learning and support."

"We do not ask for students' immigration status when they enroll," Driver said in the email. "If we become aware of a student's immigration status, we will not share that information with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services."

Driver's statement comes on the heels of an announcement from Chicago Public Schools, where leadership has instructed its principals not to let federal immigration agents inside district buildings without a criminal warrant. 

The Associated Press reports CPS' Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson is also urging parents to update students' emergency contact information, in case parents are detained.

MPS has not released any similar directives. 

The White House says its new policies will not impact so-called "dreamers" -- unauthorized youth brought to the U.S. as children. Those students are currently protected from deportation under an Obama-era policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.