Amid recent deportation raids targeting some recently arrived illegal immigrant families with final orders of removal, Maryland officials say there has been a decline in attendance by Latino students apparently fearing deportation.
FOX 5 in Washington D.C. reports some principals in the area are seeing a drop in attendance by Latino students, according to a letter from Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell.
“We have seen a decrease in attendance at some of our schools,” Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson Sherrie Johnson told the station. “It’s not widespread, but we have seen somewhat of a decrease at some of our schools. It’s important to note that we want all students to come to school and we understand it’s a very difficult time. This is a scary time.”
Earlier this month the Obama administration announced it was conducting enforcement actions to deport illegal immigrant “family units” who crossed the southern border after May 2014 and have been issued final orders of removal by an immigration judge. So far DHS has said just 121 illegal immigrant family members have been apprehended in the raids.
The enforcement actions, conducted largely in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, have so far been minor compared to the nearly 300,000 unaccompanied minors and family units who have have been apprehended illegally entering the U.S. through the southern border since FY 2013. In recent months the influx of migrants — largely from Central America — has accelerated.
Maryland has been a top destination for border surge migrants. According to the Baltimore Sun, during the border surge in 2014 the state took in more unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors per capita than any other state and Prince George’s and Montgomery counties accepted the most in the state.
According to FOX 5, the Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and city council has assured in a recent letter that local law enforcement is not participating in the deportation raids.
Leggett told FOX 5 that they want illegal immigrants to trust local law enforcement.
“Montgomery County does not support the policy of the federal government that this is a real concern nationally,” Leggett told FOX 5. “But locally, we’re not going to enforce ICE’s mandates and we would hope that people understand that.”
Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks added to FOX 5 that the police will continue to not enforce immigration law at the local level.