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Connecticut Immigration Activists Want Schools To Become 'Sanctuaries'

Courtesy of Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance

On Wednesday Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy sent a memo to the state’s schools, colleges and police outlining how to deal with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Malloy suggests that local law enforcement avoid detaining or questioning people on behalf of the federal government.

Jesus Morales-Sanchez, a volunteer with the immigrant rights group Unidad Latina en Acción, a member of the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, says even though Malloy’s suggestions are not enforceable by law, they are a start.

“We know that there is still a lot more work to be done; however, having the backup of the governor is always reassuring.”

Morales-Sanchez says another guideline asks schools to send ICE agents to the superintendent’s office. That’s a policy his group wants adopted in New Haven. He says students shouldn’t be afraid to go to school.

“How can you actually learn when you’re scared that, you know, if ICE were to show up to school, they will turn you over? It’s just unreasonable. So in the best interest of children and their education, we want to keep schools a sanctuary place.”

Morales-Sanchez is working with a Yale Law School clinic on a legal toolkit that would help cities and towns adopt policies like these statewide.