When two federal immigration agents entered a Queens elementary school in New York City last week looking for a fourth grader, they were turned down immediately for not having a warrant, says a city spokesman.
P.S. 58 in Maspeth, Queens followed the city’s latest policy to block federal agents from entering property without warrants, which was implemented after President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement efforts. In March, state officials advised schools to call the superintendent and school attorney when facing an agent.
“We’re not allowing (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents in the building, because I think parents are so afraid right now, and are worried that an agent could literally come into a building and single out their child. We want them to know that can’t happen under this policy,” said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in March.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz felt troubled by the situation as a mother. “As a mother, I am deeply troubled and horrified at this attempt on the part of federal immigration agents to reach any child in our schools. P.S. 58 officials did the right thing by following proper protocols of the city administration, stopping the agents at the door and protecting their students.”
The city’s Immigration Affairs commissioner is currently investigating the incident.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Anita Rios Moore said the agents visited the school to inquire information on the student’s enrollment but did not ask to see the student.
“Although school visits are not routine in these circumstances, they are not unprecedented. I must emphasize that the purpose of the visit was to verify certain facts about the student’s enrollment in relation to a request for an immigration benefit,” Moore told Newsday in an email. “At no time did the officers ask to see or speak with the student, who was not the subject of the administrative inquiry.”