Supporting Immigrant Students and Their Families

“Photo Courtesy of ICE”

In addition to the fears and trauma already impacting the mental health and well being of immigrant students and their families, schools across the country are now facing a new arena  for crisis response preparation as they support students and their families following the devastating aftermath of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.  In Mississippi on the first day of school, ICE raided 7 plants in one community arresting 680 people leaving traumatized children at school with no parents at home or provisions for care by ICE.  We hope some of the following resources will assist you in helping immigrant students, families, schools and communities.  As School Social Workers who advocate for policy change, we have also included samples of district level resolutions to consider.  As districts review policy and guidelines  in supporting immigrant students and their families, be sure to “be at the table” during these discussions to include the vital role of the School Social Worker.

Resources for Latino and Undocumented Families During COVID-19:

Resources to Assist Schools in Responding to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Raids

The Rights of Immigrant Students 

Supporting Immigrant Children & Their Families

Establishing School Policies to Protect Immigrant Students

“School districts across the country are issuing resolutions and updating policies to protect students’ rights in light of uncertainty regarding federal immigration enforcement activities in their schools. Many of these statements affirm the districts’ mission to ensure all students have a safe and positive learning environment, and they outline guidance to school personnel on how to respond to requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for data or access to their campus.”  See below.  Source:  Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)

If your school district is considering issuing a resolution, please also see samples from other districts below as possible references.

Legal Advocates

  •  The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC)   “CLINIC tackles problems faced by low-income immigrants and our member agencies that can only be resolved through advocacy, education, pro bono representation, litigation, and media. CLINIC’s Advocacy section identifies legal trends and issues affecting immigrants and pursues responsive solution.”
  • ImmigrationLawHelp. is a searchable online directory of over 1,000 FREE or low-cost nonprofit immigration legal services providers in all 50 states. Only nonprofits that are BIA recognized or have attorneys on staff are included in the directory. Users can search [this site] by state, zip code, or detention facility. Users can also refine their search by types and areas of legal assistance provided, populations served, languages spoken, other areas of legal assistance, and non-legal services provided.  Source: Immigration Advocates Network
  • Kids in Need of Defense     “KIND staff and our pro bono attorney partners at law firms, corporations, and law schools nationwide represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings. ” “KIND serves as the leading organization for the protection of children who enter the U.S. immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child appears in immigration court without representation. We achieve fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child’s best interests, safety, and well-being.”
  • The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • The National Immigration Law Center      The National Immigration Law Center is the only national legal advocacy organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. The center envisions a United States in which all people—regardless of their race, gender, or immigration or economic status—are treated equally, fairly and humanely; have equal access to justice, education, government resources and economic opportunities; and are able to achieve their full potential as human beings.
  • New York Legal Service Providers    View our directory of low-cost legal service providers. Search the directory by specialty, by languages spoken or region using the filter   Source:  New York Immigration Coalition
  • New York List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers     To search nationally, click hereSource:  U.S. Department of Justice

Supporting Immigrant Student Resources:  NYSSSWA Membership Dollars At Work

The New York State School Social Workers’ Association (NYSSSWA) is the only professional association dedicated solely to the visibility and viability of School Social Workers in New York State.   Members are essential to our ability to support you and our profession.  If you are not a member, join us today so we can continue to provide advocacy and services on your behalf.

Learn More About The Benefits Included in a Membership!

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