After ICE raids, what happens to children affected?

After ICE raids, what happens to children affected?

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One of the questions many of are asking surround concerns about the fate of the children of those detained in Wednesday’s ICE raids.

Wednesday was the second day of school for the Scott County School District.

“It’s already hard when you’re five or six years old and it’s day two of a brand new school and you don’t speak the language," said Scott County Superintendent Dr. Tony McGee. "And then all of a sudden they find out mom and dad aren’t going to be there when they get home. It’s tough. It hurts you as an educator and it hurts children too. So, it’s never good when families are separated.”

He described the first signs that something was going on.

“People started coming in to try and check children out of school," McGee explained. "Then we found out that there had been a situation where some of our parents had been detained.”

What we now know is that the Hispanic community stepped up to take care of their own.

“Somebody that we could verify that was directly influential in those children’s lives: either a direct family member, a neighbor or somebody that may be staying with the families,” McGee said of how they released children to those trying to check them out.

An ICE spokesperson said that everyone arrested in Wednesday’s raids were given access to cell phones at a processing center for the purpose of making arrangements for the care of their children.

The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services has been flooded with calls but none of them were from the federal government.

“We were never notified," noted MDCPS Communications Director Lea Anne Brandon. "We have yet to be notified from the government that they wanted our participation a part of this.”

MDCPS put their emergency protocol in place but at this time none of their resources have been requested and no child connected to the raids has been placed in custody by the agency.

“It kind of breaks our hearts to not know where these children are...just like it does the general public.,” added Brandon.

As of Thursday afternoon, ICE could still not say whether all parents have been released.

The Scott County School District had a higher number of absences from within the Hispanic/Latino community. They sent district staff members to those homes to attempt to send a message that school should be considered a safe place.

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