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School district vows to protect undocumented students on campus

Palm Beach County Schools are opening their doors, welcoming all students even those who are undocumented. (WPEC)

Palm Beach County schools are opening their doors, welcoming all students even those who are undocumented.

The district passed a resolution Wednesday for many families in the community who live in fear. The resolution will keep kids from getting snatched up by ICE agents on campus. It also states the district will work with community organizations to create a plan in case someone is deported.

Kimberly Velasquez, 17, was born in the United States, but her parents were not.

“They did not get here legally, they had to cross the border with Mexico and eventually arrived here to Florida,” Velasquez said.

She says they came to this country for her. “My parents knew they wanted me and brothers not to go through the same struggle and to get an education,” Velasquez said.

When President Donald Trump took office, her family, and many others became worried.

“My parents are living in a fear because now with all these rumor about with what Trump is about to do they are afraid to walk outside house, walk to the store,” Velasquez said.

Wednesday night, the Palm Beach County School District tried to curb that fear by passing a resolution declaring the school district is welcoming and inclusive to all.

“I’m happy for me and for other children and families especially," Velasquez said. "They can go walk out and be like okay you’re going to be at school you’re going to be safe, you’re going to feel secure and confident."

Many took the microphone saluting the board members for resolution. There were no apparent dissenters at the meeting.

While the resolution doesn’t modify school policy, it does state the school district will try to keep ICE agents off school campuses. Additionally, the district will enhance partnerships with organizations to create a safety plan for students in case their parents are deported.

“It’s just something that has to be out there," Velasquez said. "We're safe now. It’s the United States welcome, Palm Beach county welcome."

Board members say they want to add additional layer of power to that resolution in the future. However, that layer was not discussed in detail at the board meeting.

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