Green Party of Delaware
@GreenPartyofDEFor Immediate Release:
Monday, March 6, 2017
Green Party of Delaware: Christina School District should vote yes on measure to designate its schools as sanctuary schools for the children of refugees and undocumented immigrants
Green Party of Delaware supports social justice and safety from persecution by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for all of Delaware’s children regardless of immigration status or refugee status
NEWARK, DELAWARE – The Green Party of Delaware published an open letter to the board members of the Christina School District urging them to reverse their February 14th decision to vote ‘no’ on a sanctuary measure that would have protected the children of undocumented immigrants and refugees.
Board member John M. Young introduced the measure, and was supported by Board President Elizabeth Campbell-Paige and Shirley Sutton-Saffer. Vice President George Evans, Margaret Mason, Harrie Ellen Minnehan and Fred Polanski voted down the bill.
The open letter referenced the dissents of Vice President George Evans and Fred Polanski to the sanctuary measure and stressed the Green Party of Delaware’s view that schools should be a safe haven for all children to learn regardless of immigration or refugee status, and that no child should have to fear the threat of deportation, arrest or violence at the hands of ICE agents.
The text of the open letter is as follows:
Regarding John M. Young’s Sanctuary Measure in the Christina School District
The Green Party of Delaware supports school sanctuary for all Delaware students regardless of their or their family’s immigration status, and condemns the striking down of the school sanctuary bill. On February 13, 2017, John M. Young introduced a safe school measure at the Christina School District Board Meeting, to make our schools a safe haven from ICE agents. The measure was a first in our state, and it was voted down by a narrow margin of 4-3 votes.
We commend John M. Young for introducing this measure and supporting it, and would also like to thank Board President Elizabeth Campbell-Paige and Shirley Sutton-Saffer for voting in favor. Voting to protect Delaware students from undue interference by law enforcement shows foresight and forbearance.
Frederick Polanski’s dissent included concerns that the sanctuary bill would deny federal agents access to students. The Green Party of Delaware opposes our schools becoming an immigrant hunting ground used to detain, question, and arrest any Delaware student. The Green Party of Delaware and The Green Party of the United States stand firmly on the side of immigrants and Delaware’s school children and their rights to live in our country peacefully. We believe that they have the right to seek quality education safely, free from fear of detention, arrest, and violence.
George Evans’s dissent included concerns about placing district staff and administrators “in the line of fire” by asking them to deny requests made by federal agents. The Green Party of Delaware believes that this statement embodies a blatant misunderstanding. Allowing federal agents into our schools and making staff and administrators responsible for compliance to their requests places staff, administrators, and students in the “line of fire.”
Creating an open environment for federal immigration law enforcement to operate in our schools makes all of Delaware’s school children unsafe. We already see undocumented students and children of undocumented parents nationwide skipping school for fear of being questioned about their immigration status, which harms the whole school community. Handing over invading rights to ICE makes our schools places of politicized violence when they should should be safe havens for learning and growth of Delaware’s children.
We urge the members of the Christina School Board to reconsider their position and cast their votes in favor of safe schools measures.
The Green Party of Delaware
Green Party Platform: Section on Immigration
Christina votes no on ‘sanctuary’ for undocumented kids
By Jessica Bies, The News Journal, February 14, 2017
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