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Wake County School System Vows To Help Immigrant Students, Families

The superintendent of North Carolina's largest school system is telling its immigrant students who are in the country illegally and their families that they will protect their rights in light of a recent surge in immigration arrests.

Wake County Superintendent Cathy Moore says she has met with the district's principals and shared guidance on how to protect the rights of students who do not have legal status, The News & Observer of Raleigh reports. Moore joins the superintendents of Durham and Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools in making public statements in support of immigrant students in the aftermath of the recent raids.

"While we are unable to control immigration issues beyond our campus boundaries, we can ensure a learning environment where legal and educational rights of students and families are protected to the fullest extent of the law," Moore said during a board meeting on Tuesday.

[Related Content: ICE: More Visible Arrests Of Immigrants Illegally Here Are Result Of The End Of 287(g) ]

Moore, the district's first Hispanic superintendent, drew applause from the crowd when she also read her statement in Spanish.

Under the guidance, principals are directed to notify Moore if any federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers attempt to enter a school or seek information about students or their families. Moore said that no officers have ever attempted to enter a Wake school and that she doesn't expect that to change.

The guidance Moore provided also reminds principals that school resource officers have no immigration enforcement duties. School resource officers are armed law enforcement officers assigned to work in schools.

Concerns have risen since ICE agents detained more than 200 people in February across the state who are thought to be living in the country illegally. ICE officials cited how sheriffs in some large North Carolina counties, including Wake, Durham and Mecklenburg, are no longer notifying them about the legal status of inmates in county jails.

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