A conspiracy of silence appears to have been in effect within the school itself and the entire Los Angeles Unified School District and so the parents remained unaware of what was happening. However, it is an involuntary code of silence that now threatens to hamper the investigation into this scandal going forward. This is based on the fear that the parents have expressed in going to the police — in this case Sheriff Lee Baca and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department that patrols this area — because they fear this would have immigration consequences, i.e. deportation. While the sheriff himself has given his “word” that this fear is unwarranted, community members, immigration attorneys and advocates alike say unequivocally that this is simply not good enough. Not here in Los Angeles, not now in 2012, not when thousands upon thousands wind up deported due to the sheriff’s excessive and zealous cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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