Border Patrol Agents BANNED From Schools to Avoid Traumatizing Migrant Children

In a unanimous decision that has stirred controversy, the Spokane school district in Washington has voted to prohibit U.S. Border Patrol agents from entering school premises.

The move comes after Latinos En Spokane, a local advocacy group, raised concerns about the potentially traumatic impact on immigrant students who may encounter these agents in their classrooms.

Jennyfer Mesa, the executive director of Latinos In Spokane, explained to the Spokane Review that the presence of Border Patrol agents could lead to students being “targeted as immigrants, because they have an accent, or if they’re asked something about their parents.”

She emphasized that such situations can be highly stressful for these students and their families, potentially leading to post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly for those who have experienced family separation or have concerns about other family members.

School board member Nikki Otero Lockwood clarified that the revision serves to make it “very clear that Border Patrol should not be in our schools.”

The decision, which applies to all public schools in the district, was made on Wednesday and was supported by a petition signed by 780 individuals.

In addition to banning Border Patrol agents from school grounds, the board also approved new policies stating that staff will not “collaborate with immigration enforcement agencies or share information that could put a student’s security at risk.” Furthermore, the policy prohibits immigration agents from serving as guest speakers in classrooms.

Chief Patrol Agent Lloyd Easterling of the Spokane Sector for the U.S. Border Patrol expressed his disappointment with the decision, calling it “unfortunate” in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Easterling emphasized that when agents and officers attend school events, they do so for educational purposes and at the invitation of the school, not to conduct immigration enforcement activities.

Easterling argued that the presence of CBP personnel in schools contributes to a safer environment, noting that they “attend countless events at schools throughout the nation – without controversy.”

He highlighted the tireless efforts of CBP personnel in protecting the nation from various threats, including terrorists and dangerous narcotics, and their willingness to assist local law enforcement agencies in life-threatening situations, such as active shooter incidents at schools.

The patrol agent described the Spokane Public School’s decision as “disheartening” and claimed that it “makes the community less safe.” He pointed out that many officers and agents are active members of their communities and have children who attend local schools, making the school board’s position one of “intolerance against a law enforcement agency.”