Emily von Hoffman reports on concerns parents have that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may be contacting schools, even though ICE continues to deny any involvement:
Legally, federal law prevents schools from sharing student information, including their citizenship status, and ICE states that it does not interface with schools at all. In fact, several existing laws make it extremely unlikely that schools are purposefully collaborating with ICE in any way. FERPA, the most widely-cited student privacy law, protects against the sharing of student information except in a few narrow instances that likely would not apply to undocumented students who have not committed a crime. In addition, schools are required to provide education to all students regardless of immigration status, and are prohibited from insisting on certain forms of residency proof due to a 1980s Supreme Court case. The protective language employed by some school districts, for example explicitly instructing staff on what to do if ICE should contact them, suggests that the possibility of ICE interference does exist, and makes the total lack of such language in other districts much more striking. And although it is difficult to track events of inappropriate immigration status collection unless reported by witnesses, high-profile cases in Alabama in 2011 and in New Orleans in 2014 demonstrate that informal collection of immigration status data may occasionally occur. In the New Orleans case, fifty-five schools were found to be illegally requiring social security numbers from registrants.
Read more on The Atlantic.