San Jose

‘Sense of Fear Heightened’: Bay Area Schools React to Report of National Guard for Immigration Roundups

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The White House on Friday called a draft order to use the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants a fake, but Bay Area officials said it is triggering real consequences.

In the South Bay, school administrators are warning undocumented families to prepare contingency plans.

Administrators said it is hard for many students to concentrate in class because they are probably worried if their parents will be deported while they are at school.

In Alum Rock, when school officials heard Associated Press reports the National Guard could get involved in immigrant round ups, they called their lawyers, who reminded everyone the report seems to be false.

"In this environment, it's very difficult to determine what is true and what is false from the federal government," Alum Rock School District Superintendent Hilaria Bauer said. "So we just need to make sure we're ready."

The concern runs throughout Silicon Valley.

A memo from the Campbell Union High School District, where the board voted unanimously last night to "support immigrant students and their families."

"The sense of fear has just been heightened," said Maricela Gutierrez, executive director for the Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network.

The immigrant advocacy group, SIREN, describes the last three weeks as tumultuous.

"I don’t know who’s perpetuating these stories, but its really causing a lot of fear in the community," Gutierrez said.

Next week, schools and local leaders will gather to brainstorm on a coordinated, region-wide response to any possible mass deportation in Silicon Valley.

The San Jose police chief next week will also meet with ICE agents in charge in San Jose to discuss community fears.

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