Denver school system apologizes for threat to report striking teachers on visas to immigration authorities

Denver school system apologizes for threat to report striking teachers on visas to immigration authorities
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The Denver Public School system on Thursday apologized for saying it would report striking teachers on visas to immigration authorities, the Denver Post reports.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association voted earlier this week to begin a district-wide walkout to secure better pay for educators.

Soon after the announcement, one area school received a letter from the district saying that teachers on H or J visas that would choose to strike would be reported to immigration and the U.S. Department of State, according to the Post.

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The Colorado People’s Alliance shared the letter, which stated that if teachers “have a pending case and choose to strike, this could impact the decision on the case.”

District spokesman Will Jones said late Thursday that “an incorrect communication was provided by a DPS employee regarding our educators on H-1B and J-1 visas.”

Marisol Calderon, a local teacher, told the Post that employees at her school saw the letter, including one Venezuelan who is seeking asylum and another who is about to become a U.S. citizen.

Calderon called the letter a “scare tactic.”

“The fact that the district thought this was OK was extremely scary,” she added.

The district said the error “was the result of a misinterpretation of the information that we received from our immigration firm, and the communication was in no way intended to cause fear for our educators on visas.

"Our deepest apologies for any anxiety that was caused by this error.”

“The district will do everything in our lawful power to protect our students’ and teachers’ confidential information and ensure that our students’ learning environments are not disrupted by immigration enforcement actions,” officials said in the statement.