Philadelphia School District addresses immigrant students' questions

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The district recently had another packed meeting to quell concerns among minority groups. (WPVI)

President Donald Trump's campaign at various times struck fear among many members of the immigrant community, especially the so-called Dreamers: young people born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents.

The Philadelphia School District held a meeting Tuesday night to address immigrant students.

Hundreds of people attended including Estela Hernandez.

"I'm scared that they will separate me from my family. That's what I'm scared of," Estela said.

Estela and her husband are both undocumented and have three American-born children in the public school system.

She worries President Trump will make good on promises to carry out mass deportations, even though he says he's only targeting criminals.

"A lot of families are exhibiting and talking about anxieties and concerns and one thing that we want to assure families is that our public schools will remain public," City Councilwoman At Large Helen Gym said.

The district recently had another packed meeting to quell these and other concerns among minority groups.

"What prompted that event and I'm sure what prompted this event was all of the dialogue around the most recent election, all of the talk about what we should do with certain populations," School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite said.

Still, for these parents and their children no amount of reassurance can completely do away with the fear of the unknown.

"I've heard a lot of fear since the election, but all we can do is believe in God and be positive," Hernandez said.

The school district says it is prepared to take additional steps to make sure immigrant students and their families not only feel safe but welcomed, regardless of what the national dialogue is.

Related Topics:
educationphilly newsimmigrationstudents
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