Statement on the Violation of the Human Rights of Haitian Migrants at the U.S. Border
We are currently witnessing images of the inhumane treatment and the violent expulsion of Haitian families and children seeking asylum at the U.S. border. We must be clear that the mass deportation of Black immigrants is not new and has been reinforced by administrations across the political spectrum. Despite the undeniable need, U.S. immigration policy has continuously failed morally.
Currently, asylum-seekers are being systematically returned to their home country without the opportunity to exercise their right to apply for asylum. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, approximately 40,552 school-age children arrived in the country in 2019. Our education and immigration systems must ensure equity and justice for these students and for new arrivals. As an organization working at the intersection of immigrant and education justice, protecting the rights of Black migrant children and families who are seeking asylum is an obligation we will honor unapologetically.
A few months ago, the Biden administration expanded Temporary Protected Status, effectively recognizing that Haitian children and families satisfy the argument that the conditions in their home country were unsafe for repatriation. Without action, the administration is expected to expel thousands of asylum seekers in the coming weeks, without any consideration of their safety. The lives of thousands of children and families are on the line and we must denounce the violence committed by both state actors and broader federal policy. We must do so until those who are most vulnerable are safe.
We must not forget that we all deserve the right to safety and must be in solidarity with those fighting for it. We see time and time again the extent to which xenophobic and racist policies undermine the lives of Black children and families and must not shy away from condemning these actions and fighting for justice.
ImmSchools Statement on US Department of Education's release of assessment, accountability, and reporting requirements
Release date: Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Voice of student and families regarding ED guidance
On Monday, February 22, the US Department of Education (ED) released guidance to states regarding student assessment. The Department encouraged states to provide flexibility for students and families. ImmSchools students and parents have expressed concerns regarding state exams after completing the school year through a global pandemic and enduring the challenges of online learning.
The use of state exam scores are particularly harmful during these times. The pandemic has exacerbated educational inequalities, among many others. Many of our low-income, immigrant, students of color have had unequal access to internet and technology, and limited study spaces, and academic support. The existing disparities in test scores based on race, class, and immigration status will only be greater under the circumstances of the pandemic.
Our students and parents urge states to adopt flexible assessment practices and to request a waiver from accountability measures the impact of high-stakes testing. These times call for the support that students and families have always deserved.
Student and parent quotes:
" I have been in the country 2 years, for me the experience of taking the Regents in person was already hard because I couldn't really understand English. Now imagine doing that plus COVID and the fact that we have not been in person at all this school year. Learning has been so difficult remotely. I don't think this is fair because this one test does not determine whether you have learned or not. There can be other methods of proving we learned - Dennise, Senior Student in the Bronx, NY (She feels comfortable sharing her name)
“This year with the pandemic, I have prioritized my children’s health over their learning. It has been challenging for them to learn online and I do not think the schools should require our kids to do tests or put them through this kind of stress when they have already gone through so much. This week with the storms in Texas, we lost our electricity and my kids did not log online for an entire week. I do not want these tests to define my kids or hurt them in the future.”
"I haven't even been at school in person since March of this year, here in NYC all of the high schools are remote. Virtually it's hard to understand what they are teaching via the computer, it's just not the same. It was hard for me to concentrate at the beginning of the year, I helped all of my sisters with their school work, so it was hard and It's going to be hard for us if they make us take these tests . Also, how are these tests going to impact my grades and also future scholarships and college? As an undocumented student this is already hard they shouldnt make it harder." - Junior High School Student in Queens, NY.
- "I believe my children are not prepared to take exams. With the transition to online learning, parents and teachers were not prepared to support remote learning. I don't feel like I am adequately prepared to support my children especially with navigating technology and virtual assignments. The lack of communication from the school and teachers has made this more difficult for me. My kids have been impacted by the pandemic and the winter storm which damaged our apartment" - Dallas
"It has been very difficult for my daughters to attend virtual classes and I don't know if they would be academically prepared to pass any required states" - Dallas