Colorlines reporter Julianne Hing writes “Colorado Town Debates Whether School Police Can Also Work for ICE.” In which she explains that schools cops at work in public schools also happen to be the same ICE agent raiding the neighborhoods of these students. Colorado is debating this “dual role” of officers. Education becomes the path to deportation. The schools should not be collaborating with ICE under any circumstances.
School cops ostensibly serve to protect the students – against themselves. This is because the cop in the school building is the cop that deported a child’s father. As Hing point out, this creates mistrust of the school cops. What she does not mention is that this is an increase in social control and spreading of fear through the entire school. Furthermore, this policy compromises a basic human right – education. Parents may not send their children to school in fear of being detected and deported. These students will learn to mistrust, be obedient, and comply. The cognitive consequences can be harmful.
This policy is incorporating ICE in all sectors of life, sending a message to immigrants that “you can run, but you can’t hide.” The absolute state of fear this creates in children will carry on throughout their lives. I can’t help but remember Lois Lowry’s “Number the Stars” scene in which two school girls (one Jewish, one not) are confronted by cops, and their world becomes characterized by escaping Nazi control. Nazism also began as simple policies of surveillance cloaked in “national security for your own good.”
Institutions are increasingly becoming repressive. Latino students will be profiled more than ever, both in schools and on the street. This is a pathway to increasing attacks on dark-skinned workers in particular and all workers in general. Link this with the NYPD’s spying on Muslim students on CUNY campuses, Alabama’s HB 56, and Columbia’s growing occupation of Harlem, and what we have is false democracy. Consider which group is affected by ICE in schools, certainly not the upper class. Poor Latino students and workers are the prime target of this policy. Taken into the context of the plight of immigrants during a global economic crisis, the law becomes racist and sexist.