For Principals and School District Staff: Undocumented Youth and Juvenile Justice

School administrators are often confused as to the degree of cooperation between the juvenile justice system and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). With good reason. Practices vary by state and local laws, and in the absence of any laws, the treatment of undocumented youth by juvenile justice systems can often be so unclear it varies by probation officer.

The following piece from the Anne E. Casy Foundation 2014 highlights this information and provides guidelines for beginning your own research into state and municipal laws governing city/state cooperation with ICE. These principles might be good to keep in mind:

  • — minimize unnecessary detention or separation of noncitizen youth from their families and communities;
  • — ensure that detention practices do not unfairly prejudice noncitizen youth;
  • — promote responses aimed at rehabilitation and reintegration;
  • minimize the unnecessary and often devastating immigration                — consequences for noncitizen youth of their involvement in the juvenile justice system; and
  • — preserve the ability of noncitizen youth to pursue immigration relief to which they may be entitled under federal law.