Even for those communities that do not have a sizeable immigrant population, there are universal lessons from the 2006 Marshalltown and 2008 Postville ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) actions.
- Records Requests
- No subpoena. If local law enforcement (usually wanting to be helpful to ICE) make a request - either written or oral - for names and addresses of students, there is no obligation to comply. Even if names and home addresses are "directory information," giving this list to law enforcement is discretionary.
- Subpoena from state agency. If, as an example, Iowa Workforce Development, presents a lawful subpoena for student records, the district must comply. Unless a court has ordered otherwise, the district may give families notice of the subpoena and of the nature of the requested records. Remind students and their families that districts cannot ask whether students are in the United States legally, so nothing in school records will prejudice the student.
- Subpoena from federal agency. If, for example, ICE subpoenas school records, have the district's attorney review the subpoena as soon as possible. If the subpoena is issued under certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act (which stands for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, the district may be prohibited from giving a "heads up" to families or any persons other than the district's attorney about the subpoena.
With any request for records, contact the district's attorney. But this is especially crucial when the district receives a subpoena for records.
- Access to Students
If ICE or local law enforcement come to a school and request to see a student, there is no requirement that school officials comply with such a request if the request is made verbally. If the federal or state officials have a court order, contact the school's attorney to have him/her review the order.
- Counseling for Students
Perhaps the most tangible benefit districts can provide to students is counseling after a raid has occurred. Even students whose families are not directly affected will be traumatized.
- Keep the school open for all regular hours for all events, including extracurricular activities. Students whose lives are otherwise disrupted need an island of normalcy; the school can provide that role.