City officials say that staff at Queens school, New York, turned away an immigration agent searching for a fourth grader. The incident came to light via a tweet from Eric Phillips, the press secretary for Mayor de Blasio. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services agent had no warrant, and a school safety official and an administrator sent him packing, according to a representative from the Department of Education.
The agent got no further than the school’s front security desk, says Gregory Lloyd, the Teamsters Local 237 President, responsible for representing the safety officer in the school. Floyd says the agent was instructed that the student was not in the school. The safety officer did not contact the school safety command in the NYPD, which is against protocol.
The incident came two months after school employees were ordered to prevent immigration officers without warrants from entering schools by city officials, although there had been no such incidents then. Mayor de Blasio said at the time that the policy was put in place to ease the minds of parents. Floyd, who says it puts his agents in a situation that could lead to punishment from federal prosecutors or the city government, has slammed the policy.
Floyd notes that agents who cooperate with immigration officials could be suspended by the city, but if they refuse to cooperate they face possible arrest by the federal government. He wondered if the Mayor would pay the legal costs for school safety agents who end up in court.