Report: Questions Raised About Deportation of Huntington High School Student

A joint New York Times-ProPublica story posted online Thursday raises questions about how and why a Honduran teen immigrant attending Huntington High School was deported last year.

Headlined “How a Crackdown on MS-13 Caught Up Innocent High School Students,” the report recounts how a student identified as Alex came to the attention of school and police authorities after first wearing blue sneakers and then doodling images of a devil with horns–the school’s mascot.

A central issue highlighted in the story is how a suspicion on the part of educators and the school resource officer made its way into a database and then into the hands of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement authorities, who eventually arrested him and held him for more than a year before he was deported.

The story, subtitled “The Trump administration went after gang members — and instead destroyed the American dreams of immigrant teenagers around the country,” faults a lack of  a formal agreement in Suffolk County on how information will be shared.

Huntington Station attorney Xavier Palacios, a member of the Huntington school board, is described in the story, “He believed he was succeeding in helping to make the district a friendly place for immigrants, and then a Huntington High student who also happened to be his client was detained in Operation Matador,” the program that ensnared Alex and other Huntington students.

According to the story, “Under Operation Matador, ICE has arrested 816 people suspected of gang affiliation. About 170, like Alex, came to New York legally as unaccompanied minors, some of whom were also seeking asylum, and several dozen were still minors when they were detained. Roughly a dozen students from Huntington High alone were rounded up.”








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