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Local school systems would welcome children ripped from parents at border

But in declarations filed in connection with a lawsuit in Washington state over the separations, officials in Boston, Chelsea and Somerville say they would need to dedicate special resources to help the kids overcome the trauma that comes from being forcibly removed from their parents.

"The policy of separating children from their parents may result in harms to children that will make it exponentially harder for BPS to educate these children," wrote Priya Tahiliani, assistant superintendent for BPS's Office of English Learners.

Mary Borque, school superintendent in Chelsea, where 86% of students identify as Hispanic, wrote she is already seeing problems - including some not directly related to education:

The ongoing fear of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and deportation, and increased ICE visibility, in the community has children arriving at school upset, fearful, and in tears, and has led families to avoid seeking health and preventive services. This delay in seeking care may lead to more serious health issues and may result in higher costs for the state. These problems will only compound as immigrant children arrive in the community after having been forcibly separated from their parents by immigration officials.

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone and School Superintendent Mary Skipper wrote:

Anti-immigrant federal policies have created a culture of fear that has eroded trust in the public and local authorities. As a result, many foreign-born Somerville residents are less likely to report violences, crime, abuse, and other harmful community acts. This impact will only get worse as a result of the fear of widespread family separation.

The declarations are included among hundreds of pages of filings in the case, posted by Adam Klasfeld, a reporter for Courthouse News Service

In their declarations, the officials in the three cities cite the specific challenges of educating children suffering trauma from being ripped away from their parents.

Borque wrote:

Children who have been separated from their family may experience serious trauma and uncertainty about their future; traumatic events have an impact on the brain and brain development. Traumatic events and the impact on the prefrontal cortex of the brain leave children in these cases living in a constant flight or fight status which makes it more challenging for students to access learning. Many of these students are more likely to need additional counseling services and emotional supports. Untreated trauma may lead to the need for special education services. They are also more likely to have difficulty with self-regulation and building trusting relationships.

Without parents to care for them, these children may also suffer from food or housing insecurity.

They may also be vulnerable to trafficking and other exploitation.

CPS will incur additional costs as a result of the particular vulnerabilities of children who have been separated from their parents. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which funds CPS through a complex formula, will also incur additional costs. In Chelsea, state funding accounts for more than 63 percent of education spending.

CPS social workers and guidance counselors may need to spend more time with these students, to help them overcome the impacts of the trauma inflicted on them. Class sizes will increase as money is taken from regular education in order to hire more social workers and guidance counselors to address this increasing at-risk student population.

Children who suffer trauma are also more likely to require more intense special education support services in the area of emotional impairment as a result of trauma, costing the city and state additional money.

Curtatone and Skipper wrote:

Children who have been separated from their familiy are deeply traumatized by that experience. They may be scared even to go to school and be away from their caregivers, and they could develop long-lasting mental health, behavioral and special education needs.

Trauma can undermine a child's ability to learn and grow in the classroom. Evidence suggests if a child experiences some form of trauma - abuse, separation, death or violence - she may develop a different set of needs that should be addressed to be successful in school. Children who suffer trauma are also more likely to require special services, costing the city and state additional money.

For example, SPS social workers and guidances counselors may need to spend more time with these students, to help them overcome the impacts of the trauma inflicted on them, stretching an already over-burdened staff. Moreover, children with signficant trauma may require special education services due to mental health-related disabilities.

For a child without a parent or guardian, SPS teachers and administrators must take extra care to make sure that a child's educational needs are being met, requiring extra time and resources from the district and the Commonwealth. The City and schools may also have to address food or housing insecurity that may result if children are not living with their parents.

Tahiliani echoed these concerns and said BPS is already devoting extra resources to train teachers and support staff to help students get the sort of education they deserve.

File with statements by local education officials (8.8M PDF, search for "Exhibit 67" for Somerville, "Exhibit 73" for Chelsea and "Exhibit 74" for Boston).
More statements (11.8M PDF, search for "Exhibit 6" for a statement from a woman now living in Framingham who had her child taken from her).
More statements (22.2M PDF).

H/t Eartha Kitteh.

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Comments

Doctors Without Borders apparently has stations along the Mexico migrant route, and they are comparing the trauma of these families before they even get to the border as similar or worse than war refugees.

And then the US rips the children away?

Some will never recover.

This cannot stand. It's child abuse, regardless of one's stance on immigration. It's un-American, and if we don't act to stop it, then we invite human rights abuses done to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

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Voting closed 4

The only reason to treat children -- or any other non-violent immigrant -- this way is to score "political points" with a particular demographic. They are literally ruining people's lives and hurting the future of the country for the sole intention to help them win future elections.

History is pretty clear: In the long run, societies open to voluntary immigrants have prospered while those scared of foreigners have been stagnant.

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Since 1848, the US has refused entry to some, and allowed entry for others. I would say that the record of the United States, even since 1921, has been pretty darned good when it comes to admitting immigrants. It's that sticky matter of how many to allow in and what to do with those who enter even when told they can't that is causing our current national frenzy.

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Voting closed 40

And their decisions on who gets in and who doesn't were balls and strikes, I would have gotten suspended for pulling first base out of the ground and throwing it across the infield after calling every official the magic 10-letter word.

Dzokhar Tsarnaev was let back in to blow everybody's legs off, and my brother had to marry my sister-in-law the paralegal to keep her from having to go back to Paris. This country can kiss my ass with its immigration policy. Try drawing up and enforcing a strike zone that isn't completely (expletive) asinine.

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If it's true Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an FBI asset who was promised citizenship in return for being an informant and he felt like the FBI didn't deliver citizenship (he wanted to box for the US Olympic team) then I'd point the finger somewhere other than than ICE.

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I meant Tamerlan. And I don't recall any of that. Thank you for the lesson.

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"History is pretty clear: In the long run, societies open to voluntary immigrants have prospered while those scared of foreigners have been stagnant."

Citation please? The world's wealthiest nations (Switzerland, Monaco, etc) are next to impossible to migrate to. Japan and Korea hate immigrants, and do okay. People are free to migrate into Syria and Afghanistan, but how's that working out?

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The world's wealthiest nations (Switzerland, Monaco, etc) are next to impossible to migrate to.

I have a feeling that being "wealthiest" natiion (meaning, in the two cases you cite, having an unusually high number of extremely wealthy inviduals and being a prosperous society are not all that closely connected.

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Japan is facing a demographic crisis due to a plunging birth rate and, you guessed it, an aversion to immigrants. You can only automate so many functions.

As for Syria and Afghanistan, were they to have stable governments again, people would be a lot less free to move there.

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There are people making money on building and running the internment camps for children, just like jailing citizens has been a growing profit center.

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I pray they can reunite these children with their parents soon.

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It's too bad Trump's malfeasance has turned into a humanitarian crisis.

Did I miss the part where we're going to help unaccompanied minors? Has a migrant spent 10 minutes in Walsh's office never mind seek sanctuary there?

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Money Grabbing situation, now, it seems. God Bless the Scott Pruitts in Human Services.

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This is a jobs program for Betsy DeVos' friends. But hey, working Trump voters, tell me how much more valuable an expense this was than anything you would have done with your money if you hadn't been taxed to pay for cronies.

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"We currently spend more than $1 billion a year in taxpayer dollars taking care of unaccompanied illegal alien minors. Most are in HHS custody. They are provided food, education in their native language, health and dental care, and transported to their destination city—all at taxpayer expense."

https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-sessions-addresses-r...

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Anti-immigrant federal policies have created a culture of fear that has eroded trust in the public and local authorities. As a result, many foreign-born Somerville residents are less likely to report violences, crime, abuse, and other harmful community acts. This impact will only get worse as a result of the fear of widespread family separation.

This was literally the entire point of Sanctuary Cities, before it became another fake news hotbutton buzzword. Local police and local authorities should stay out of immigration matters because they need to be trusted by local immigrant communities, so that local crime, drugs, conflict, etc, can be addressed. Nobody is going to call the cops on their downstairs neighbor stockpiling guns and drugs if they think Officer Joe Schmo is going to rip their kids away and turn them over to ICE, and then the community as a whole suffers.

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That is what I told people in my hometown over and over again when they wanted to rehash our status as a Sanctuary City. We can't have people afraid of talking to the police, we just can't. Our residents , all of them, need to feel comfortable picking up the phone and making the calls they need to make to keep everyone in a community safe.

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If they are really concerned about separating families they would stop cooperating with BRIC (which includes ICE), get cops out of schools, and end the school to prison pipeline in this city.

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How many pages of the statements can you get through without feeling ill? Had to quit around:

6. At the detention center, officers told Ludin that she was to be separated from her
children. She was told that she would be deported, and that her children would be put up for
adoption. Ludin begged to not be separated from her children, and tried to explain to the officers
that they were fleeing violence in Guatemala. Her daughter was crying.
7. Afterwards, the immigration officers took Ludin to a place called “the dog pound”
without her children. There, Ludin was kept in a cell, with nearly fifty other mothers. The officers
told them that they could not eat because they were asking about their children. There was a
pregnant woman who fainted from hunger. The immigration officers took this woman to a clinic.
8. One immigration officer told Ludin, “how a drop of water destroyed a country.”
9. The officers insulted Ludin and the other women in the cage. They called them
names, and told them they were stupid when they asked about their children.

Jesus fucking christ.

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