Novato School district, police assure immigrants of safety

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At Lu Sutton Elementary, third grade teacher Libby Silvestri has at least one child of undocumented immigrants in her class, and she says it's getting in the way of learning.

You've heard of sanctuary cities, but there is something new happening in Novato.

At Lu Sutton Elementary, third grade teacher Libby Silvestri has at least one child of undocumented immigrants in her class, and she says it's getting in the way of learning.
RELATED: Santa Clara County asks federal judge to stop Trump's sanctuary city order

"They are really scared," she said. "They are worried that their moms will be sent back, or dads, or that someone will be going to jail."

As such, a joint statement was issued by the city police department and the Novato Unified School District that is meant to reassure undocumented immigrants, which was sent home to all families in the district. It is a restatement of immigration policy signed by Superintednet Jim Hogeboom and Police Chief Adam McGill .

"Immigration-only offenses are not the role of the local police," explained Chief McGill.

"so basically if they are on schools they are going to be safe."
RELATED: Stanford declines to declare university 'sanctuary campus'

The memorandum is an unprecedented move, but maybe not for surprising when viewed in context. More than half the students come from homes where English is a second language.

"I think, definitely, they should crack down on the criminal element," said Joe Doherty, a Novato resident.

In a county that cast only 16 percent of its votes for Donald Trump, no one disagreeing with the policy cared to talk about the memorandum.

RELATED: San Leandro declares itself a sanctuary city

But for many, police say trust is the issue. Without it, they say the undocumented would not report crimes against them, and truly be victimized.

In schools, it's more simple than that. Hogeboom says, "I don't want to know and I don't. Anyone who comes to this school, we're going to educate them."

To read about sanctuary cities and immigration, click here.

RELATED: As Trump plans executive action SF, holds steady as sanctuary city
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newspoliticssanctuary citiesrepublicansdemocratsimmigration reformimmigrationstudent safetyschoolpoliceNovato
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