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Tipsheet

Rhode Island School Solicits Donations From Staff to Pay 'Coyote' Who Smuggled Student to U.S.

AP Photo/Eric Gay

A school in Rhode Island emailed staff asking for donations to pay off a cartel “coyote” who brought one of its students to the states, leaked emails show. 

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“We have a student who came to America with ‘Coyote’, which is a group that helps people,” the email from Mount Pleasant High School Assistant Principal Stefani Harvey said.

“This group gives you a time frame to make a payment of $5,000 to those, who bring them into the states,” she added, emphasizing that the student’s deadline is scheduled for Feb. 1. The student is $2,000 short, she wrote, and urged staff to donate money to pay off the smuggler.

Christina Pushaw, who works for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL), noted that the assistant principal who sent the email is “a community activist and educator who specializes in social justice and equity in education,” specifically for “youth of color.”

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The U.S. Department of Justice defines “coyotes” as “human smugglers,” quite different from “a group that helps people.”

Nicole Solas, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, posted the screenshots of the email on Twitter. Shortly after, the school’s principal sent an email saying that the request was “not appropriate.” 

“I appreciate the faculty and staff contributing to a cause that supports a student, but the nature of the request is not appropriate,” Tiffany Delaney, the school principal, said. 

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Providence Public School District Chief Communications Officer Nick Domings confirmed that the emails were sent to school officials. 

"I can confirm that the email in question was sent to staff at Mount Pleasant High School. The school’s principal immediately took steps to have a retraction issued when she learned of the email. The Providence Public School District is now investigating. We will not be commenting further on ongoing personnel matters to ensure the proper processes can take place,” Domings said. 

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Providence Teachers’ Union President Maribeth Calabro also told WJAR that the school would be investigating.

“Our concern is for the safety and well being of the student,” she said.

According to The New York Times, human smuggling at the border is now a “billion-dollar business.” In one instance, 53 illegal immigrants died after being packed into a “suffocating tractor-trailer without air conditioning.” And, more than 5,000 people have been arrested and charged with human smuggling as federal agents have raided “stash houses” holding illegal immigrants “on nearly a daily basis.” 

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