Des Moines Superintendent Defends Sanctuary Resolution Against Steve King

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Tom Ahart says Congressman Steve King and others are wrong with their assessment that Des Moines Public Schools are violating federal laws.

On Tuesday the Des Moines School Board passed a resolution clarifying how and when the district would work with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  According to the resolution ICE must first meet with Ahart, the Des Moines superintendent, who will then consult with legal counsel before allowing any federal agents on to Des Moines School property.

Before Tuesday's meeting Ahart says he received a two-page letter from Congressman Steve King, who does not serve the Des Moines area.  In the letter King informed Ahart that Des Moines Schools would be in violation of federal law if the resolution were to pass.

On Wednesday Ahart said legal counsel for the district reviewed the law before the resolution came up for a vote and they say it does not violate any laws.  Ahart says he reached out to another group on Wednesday morning to again check the legality of the resolution and was again told it does not violate federal laws.

Ahart says this resolution and another passed at Tuesday's meeting are necessary to reassure the thousands of refugee and immigrant students and parents in the district that school buildings are safe places for learning.