ICE(Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids in the southern state of the United States, Mississippi, disarray the Scott County school’s usual schedule as children are left with no parents to take them home.
What constituted as the largest employment raid in recent history, disrupting lives of almost six hundred and eighty Latino employees, wreaked havoc in the four thousand student district. The nationwide ICE raids are targeting some two thousand illegal settlements in America.
Tony McGee, Superintendent of Scott County, has confirmed that unexpected government operation has caused a widespread commotion as the school authorities frantically dig into school’s rule book to check the safety procedures for children without parents at home.
And while there are regular safety and check-out policies in place, it has no mention of standard operating procedures during raids.
Consequences of ICE raids
With unanticipated large-scale implications, the Wednesday raids impacted almost fifteen families from the school, leaving roughly thirty-five students with no families to go home to. The following day points out McGee, marked the absence of one hundred and fifty students from the school.
The magnitude of the impact is unsettling and scary as although the school authorities are equipped safety rules for natural calamities, in case of raids, they are unable to reach out to the community and offer help as people tend to resist any form of assistance, stresses McGee.
Executive director at the Center for Law and Social Policy, Olivia Golden, puts forth a worrisome picture. According to her, the sudden takedown by ICE officials has triggered a frightening psychological trauma among young children as they do not have any information on their parents’ whereabouts and do not know for sure, when will they be united with their families.
ICE raids out of line claims Golden
She further points out that the raids conducted were totally out of the line. Besides notifying families of an expected release date, they are supposed to consider the discharge of those who are the sole caretakers of children, disabled or terminally ill relatives.
Golden denounces the extensive attacks by highlighting the reckless and irresponsible behavior of ICE agents, who not only went on to disseminate unwarranted chaos but also paid no heed to children’s’ safety and readiness of schools and social service agencies in dealing with this catastrophe.
While research continues to establish long-standing effects of raids on children’s mental and physical health, law officials in the country insist that they also potentially harm the finances of families. With the loss of jobs, parents have no means to pay for children’s’ schools, care centers, or at times, even meals.
Following ICE raids
With impacts as dangerous as these, McGee reassures that the next step for school will be to ensure the hale and hearty condition of each of its students.
For now, he stresses, academics will take a backseat, and there will be more focus on counseling and mentoring. He also calls for establishing a chain of command, in case situation such as this is to make a reappearance.
For instance, Canton schools had counselors on standby in case of students needing emotional support in the wake of massive raids. Superintendent of Canton Public School District, Gary Hannah, confirms that they are setting up fundraising activities in support of affected families.
At the same time, Hannah emphasized a greater need for empathy and compassion towards these families as he has witnessed the magnitude of devastation himself.
Meanwhile, The Department of Education has refused to release a statement towards its next course of action and the much-needed issuance of guidance and standard practices in times of emergencies.