All children have a right to a free public education, regardless of their actual or perceived immigration or citizenship status or that of their parents. Education leaders, teachers, students, and families, have asked questions about guidance that was released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that limits immigration enforcement actions from occurring at schools and other “sensitive locations.” This DHS guidance is at: To respond to those questions, the U.S. Department of Education has worked with DHS to prepare this fact sheet, intended to help parents, families, educators, and other school staff understand the DHS guidance.

In general, DHS has explained that immigration enforcement actions may not occur at or in “sensitive locations.” These locations include:

  • Schools, such as known and licensed daycares, pre-schools and other early learning programs; primary schools; secondary schools; post-secondary schools up to and including colleges and universities; as well as scholastic or education-related activities or events.
  • School bus stops that are marked and/or known to the officer, during periods when children are present at the stop.
  • Medical treatment and health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities.
  • Places of worship, such as churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples.
  • Religious or civil ceremonies or observances, such as funerals and weddings.
  • During public demonstrations, such as a march, rally, or parade.

Frequently asked questions

DHS has explained that immigration enforcement actions may occur at sensitive locations in limited circumstances, but should generally be avoided. DHS officers and agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may conduct an enforcement action at a sensitive location only with prior approval from an appropriate supervisory DHS official, or if the enforcement action involves exigent circumstances related to national security, terrorism, or public safety, or where there is imminent risk of destruction of evidence material to an ongoing criminal case.

DHS has explained that there are a number of locations where an individual may lodge a complaint with DHS about a particular immigration enforcement action that may have taken place in violation of these or other policies. You may find information about these locations, and information about how to file a complaint, on the DHS website at, the CBP website at, or ICE website at

You may contact ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) through the Detention Reporting and Information Line at 888-351-4024 or through the ERO information email address at, also available at The Civil Liberties Division of the ICE Office of Diversity and Civil Rights may be contacted at 202-732-0092 or

You may contact the CBP Information Center to file a complaint or compliment via phone at 1-877-227-5511, or submit an email through the website at

Anyone with information about discrimination occurring in schools, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin (which may include citizenship or immigration status), may file a complaint by contacting the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights via,, 800-421-3481 or TDD: 800-877-8339 (for language assistance contact 800-USA-LEARN (800-872-5327)) or by contacting the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section via,, 877-292-3804, or TTY: 800-514-0383.