Over the last few weeks, we have observed a sharp increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity in our communities across the great state of North Carolina. We have heard reports of ICE agents stopping cars in the middle of the road to make arrests, entering private properties without judicial warrants, detaining without providing reason followed by interrogation without reading Miranda rights, holding minors against their will, and making arrests near schools causing immense fear within our schools. We are appalled and infuriated by these reckless and aggressive tactics.
Governor Cooper - we call on you to sue the Trump administration for the unprecedented and immoral actions of ICE in our state.
ICE raids have targeted Latino immigrants, regardless of citizenship status or documentation. North Carolina is home to approx 787,971 immigrants, almost 50 percent (approx. 387,380) identify as Latino. In our schools, we have witnessed the real human cost to families with more children and families in our district suffering from the traumatic ramifications of this style of enforcement. Families so consumed with distress that they barely make it through the day. These are not just our immigrant families, but also US citizen families. It ripples throughout our entire school community. Students of all ages are weeping in fear daily in school, experiencing headaches and stomach aches due to the extreme anxiety and stress these raids cause them. They are not able to concentrate in class due to the fact that they are worrying about their communities every minute of the day. As educators we see student's health begin to decline due to lack of sleep and depression. In elementary schools specifically, attendance has drastically dropped due to parents not wanting to drive out of fear or not wanting to be away from their children even for a school day. All students have many questions and cannot understand why this is happening. We cannot educate students under these circumstances.
In response to these raids understaffed and under-resourced schools have created rapid response teams to provide food, shelter, find pro-bono lawyers, provide social and emotional support and more. This is an extra load on both the school professionals and the families affected. Students should be enjoying their childhood, having fun learning new things at school, not suffering extreme duress due to ICE.
Governor Cooper - you must take a stand now to defend some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens - our Latino students and their families.
We know the life-altering impact that any ICE activity can have on the Latino community, who constitute 9.5% of North Carolinians. Latino North Carolinians are involved in their student's education, run businesses, own homes and shop for goods and services - just like the rest of us. Not only is ICE activity emotionally traumatizing for our Latino neighbors, it has a ripple effect across all of our state. It has been especially felt in schools through lower attendance, cancelled parent teacher conferences and an increased fear in attending or participating in school events. The unnecessarily punitive and targeted ICE activity leads to greater psychological and emotional distress in the Latino community regardless of immigration status. When ICE threatens our North Carolina community with raids, arrest, and deportation, it affects all of us.
Governor Cooper - action from you can support all North Carolinians.
Please join us in standing up to the inhumanity of these ICE raids in our communities. Sue the Trump administration.