NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is reassuring parents that all students are welcome after a federal agent showed up at a Queens school last week to inquire about fourth grader’s immigration status.
The agent was turned away when he arrived at P.S. 58 in Maspeth on Thursday.
It was the first time a city policy denying federal agents access to school grounds unless they have a valid judicial warrant was put to the test since it was issued in March.
City officials said Monday it’s still not clear why the federal agent showed up in person at the door.
“We’ve been in touch with staff at the Department of Homeland Security to understand what the purpose was of this agent coming here in the first place,” the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal said, reassuring parents that the schools are the safest place to be.
“This was not ICE, this was an agent that we are still trying to discover. He did bring a card, he did bring a badge, he never got beyond the front desk,” Fariña said. “Our protocol now is to make sure that when anyone comes into the building and can show information, he waits outside the school building.”
Fariña told parents and staff at P.S. 58 that all city schools will be training everyone from administrators to custodial workers on what to do if this happens again, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the agent was looking to verify the fourth grader’s enrollment as part of an administrative inquiry related to a request for an immigration benefit. The agent did not ask to see or speak with the student.