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Corpus Christi Caller-Times
A local coalition of activists, students, educators and attorneys is asking the Corpus Christi ISD board of trustees to adopt a policy prohibiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from conducting apprehensions on school property during sporting events.
The request was sparked by a November incident in which an undocumented woman and her son were apprehended during a baseball game in La Joya. On opening day for the baseball tournament at La Joya ISD's new sports complex, Customs and Border Protection agents and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers questioned a woman about her citizenship after they saw her and a child come out of the brush, according to reports.
Agents apprehended the pair, processed them and they were later released under prosecutorial discretion. But La Joya Mayor Jose A. "Fito" Salinas told local media that agents interrupted the game and because the incident made the crowd uncomfortable, law enforcement should not have come onto the property.
The local coalition is seeking to keep a similar situation from playing out during a Corpus Christi Independent School District sporting event.
During the Jan. 9 school board meeting, Mimosa Thomas asked the board of trustees to adopt the policy. Thomas made the proposal on behalf of the Corpus Christi Immigration Coalition.
"I want to ask if there is a policy (against such apprehensions) and if not, can we make one sort of explaining to ICE that we don't want them to do raids at sporting events on CCISD property?" Thomas said of locations such as Cabaniss Field, the Corpus Christi Natatorium and Buccaneer Stadium. Thomas cited safety concerns, as well as safeguarding public events for families as reasons behind the request.
"Sporting events can be very crowded, you don't want things that can cause a panic," Thomas said. "And we want to make sure that parents feel comfortable coming to student sporting events. We have a lot students who are citizens who have parents who aren't."
Corpus Christi ISD spokeswoman Leanne Winkler Libby there is no such agenda item being considered and the district is unaware of any immigration-related raids conducted during CCISD sporting events.
"We, of course, must cooperate with other law enforcement as necessary, but we always do so with student safety in mind," Winkler Libby said. "Except in cases of danger and emergency, it is likely other law enforcement agencies would respect district law enforcement's desire to act in the best interest of student security and safety, particularly at crowded gatherings such as sporting events."
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Gregory Palmore said agency policies for sensitive locations determine jurisdiction for apprehensions.
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