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Group Calls For Danbury Schools To Support Undocumented Immigrant Families

Committee Chairs of Action Together Connecticut.  Some members of this group will be speaking at Wednesday's Board of Education meeting in Danbury at 7 p.m.
Committee Chairs of Action Together Connecticut. Some members of this group will be speaking at Wednesday's Board of Education meeting in Danbury at 7 p.m. Photo Credit: contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — Imagine sending your kids off to school and wondering whether you’ll be at home when they get off the bus in the afternoon.

That is a concern that many undocumented immigrant families in the Danbury area face every day because they fear being deported, according to a group called Action Together Connecticut of Northern Fairfield.

Group members plan to voice the fears of undocumented families at the Danbury Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 63 Beaver Brook Road.

“We will make a statement on behalf of the undocumented immigrant students and their families in the community,” said Danbury resident Kate Concetta, a committee chair for Action Together.

According to Concetta, the statement will recap incidents of hate from across the state and ask Danbury School Superintendent Sal Pascarella and the Board of Education to develop a protocol for schools for situations involving the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

“In the statement, we will also ask for the superintendent to send a letter home with each student which reasserts the school district’s dedication to creating welcoming and safe spaces for all and which provides a brief 'Know Your Rights' packet in hopes of allaying some of the fears in the community," Concetta said.

Parents, teachers and residents will join members of Connecticut Students for a Dream, the Danbury Area Justice Network and Action Together Connecticut-Northern Fairfield at the meeting.

Everyone is welcome to sign the statement as a show of support, Concetta said.

Action Together Connecticut is working toward bringing progressive values to all levels of government. It has several county chapters with 4,000 members across the state, and about 1,100 members in Northern Fairfield County.

The group was founded on Nov. 9 in response to the election of President Donald Trump, Concetta said.

“Our goal for speaking at the meeting is to make sure that we can protect progressive values and not let the current administration get away with anything without us having our voice heard in opposition," said the group's page administrator Julie SanSeverino.

“We want Dr. Sal to know that we have the community behind us,” said SanSeverino, of Danbury.

Conetta said Action Together is about bringing people back into civic participation.

“The election was a wake-up call to a lot of people; it helped us realize that democracy only really works when people participate in it. So the goal of our group is to pool our resources and use them to forward progressive values within the state," she said.

The immigrant community is an important part of the fabric of the City of Danbury, she said. "With all these federal initiatives stoking fear, it seems more important than ever to stand up for and support the people in our own community who are at risk."

For more information or to get involved with Action Together Connecticut, click here.

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