Schools in Sanctuary Cities: Do Sanctuary City Policies Diminish Chronic Absenteeism Among Immigrant Children?
Morrison, Donna R
Local immigration enforcement is associated with myriad negative socioeconomic, health, and education outcomes for immigrant children and families. While anecdotal evidence shows that local enforcement also negatively effects student attendance in the short term, there is a dearth of research showing any long-term association, nor is there any showing the impact of sanctuary city policies. This study uses immigration, school, and county data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s PEP Tracker, the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection and Common Core of Data, the American Community Survey, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to explore the association between sanctuary city policies and chronic absenteeism rates for English Language-Learners (ELLs) during the 2015-2016 school year. An Ordinary Least Squares regression with school and county socioeconomic controls and state fixed-effects reveals that sanctuary cities that refuse to accept ICE detainer and notification requests are associated with a marginal decrease in ELL chronic absenteeism of 0.6 percentage points, on average. Sanctuary cities that only refuse detainer requests do not show any statistically significant association. Given the small size of this association, additional research is needed to clarify the relationship between sanctuary cities and ELL chronic absenteeism.
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Lo, Bernard and O'Connell, Mary Ellen (National Research Council (United States)Institute of Medicine (United States). Committee on Ethical Issues in Housing-Related Health Hazard Research Involving Children, Youth, and Families, 2005)