Education Austin, a teachers and employees union composed of 3,000 members is handing out fliers to students. They list what to do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows up at your doorstep.
“There are so many folks in our community who are at risk for deportation or their family is, especially a lot of folks whose families are at risk. We are hearing a lot from students, not students but children,” said Cristina Parker with Grassroots Leadership.
Parker says her organization has been receiving calls all day from scared immigrant families. She says she agrees with what Education Austin is doing.
“People need to have that information, people need to know their rights whatever age they are,” said Parker.
AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz sent this letter to parents, listing resources for support for refugee/immigrant students.
“I'm proud of AISD for championing public schools, and what public schools should be doing which is meeting the needs of all the students. We shouldn't see that refugees are another entity. Refugee kids, refugee students are a part of all the students we should be serving,” said Vincent Tovar, AISD parent.
There have been rumors circulating for a while, about potential raids. I.C.E. has not stated if they would be conducting raids. They say their operations are based on leads, and they conduct daily operations. Immigration reform advocates believe it's a political stunt.
“We got them on photo, we got them on video. We know they are here. We know they are stopping people. It seems like it is revenge for the community standing up, fighting back and demanding policies that protect immigrants,” said Parker.
The Austin ISD is taking the middle ground, saying regardless, they will educate students, and provide resources and academic support for refugee students.