Huntington School District is reviewing its relationship with Suffolk County Police after ProPublica and The New York Times reported that officers stationed at the school passed along information that led to the deportation of a student legally seeking asylum.
In the summer of 2017, ICE launched a program that worked with local police departments to arrest and deport immigrants suspected of having gang affiliations. The programs was widely criticized for what was considered gang affiliation. What immigrants called innocuous tattoos, blue sneakers, and their home country’s telephone country code was enough to deport hundreds of people.
The article told the story of one Huntington High School student who was deported after a Suffolk police officer assigned to the school told ICE that he was part of a gang.
In a letter posted to the school’s website, Huntington’s superintendent and board of trustees called the facts presented in the article “beyond upsetting.” They vowed to add an extra layer of organization between the school and police. The letter stated the effort was to “maintain a safe haven” for “all students.”
Suffolk Police say they are reviewing the letter.