TUSD won't enforce laws governing immigration

SB1070
2010-07-28T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T08:31:37Z TUSD won't enforce laws governing immigrationAlexis Huicochea Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 28, 2010 12:00 am  • 

The TUSD Governing Board approved a policy Tuesday that maintains the district's stance of not enforcing immigration laws in the district's schools.

The 5-0 board vote is in response to the state's new immigration law.

The Tucson Unified School District's passage of its Immigration Anti-Discrimination Policy comes two days before SB 1070 is to take effect.

SB 1070 requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop on other matters when there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are in the U.S. illegally. A federal judge in Phoenix is expected to rule soon on whether to block all or part of the law from going into effect.

The district's policy was drafted by board members Adelita Grijalva and Bruce Burke, and TUSD legal counsel Rob Ross.

It reinforces that TUSD employees are not to enforce immigration laws, nor are they to investigate or report a student or parent's immigration status.

"A lot of people will say SB 1070 has nothing to do with education, but in reading it there are a lot of implications for various environments," Grijalva said. "There are a lot of unknowns, and we are trying to clarify."

Grijalva initially hoped the district would join litigation against SB 1070 - as the Sunnyside Unified School District chose to do - but agreed to form a policy that would have more of an impact on students instead.

What the policy does not address is law-enforcement presence on campus and the potential for students being questioned.

TUSD, the area's largest school district, was the target of several protests in 2007 after the deportation of a Catalina Magnet High School student and his family. That incident began when school officials found that the student possessed illegal drugs and called Tucson police.

When officers learned the boy and his family were in the United States illegally, they called Border Patrol agents to the school to take the boy and his family into custody.

Police leaders said at the time that officers would not summon immigration authorities on campus but instead would follow up elsewhere.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at 573-4175 or ahuicochea@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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