Residents of this heavily immigrant community outside Washington now report people are hiding in their homes at night, and some children are being kept home from school for fear of immigration enforcement sweeps that could break up families.

“They stay home at night. It’s just bad,” said Melissa Garcia.

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A 12-year old student at the Silver Spring International School and her uncle claim some students are staying away from school while others are refusing to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance”.

“They’re afraid they might get deported or something like that,” said 7th grader Melissa Muganda, whose mother is an immigrant from Tanzania.

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Montgomery County Schools have not recorded any unusual spikes in absences that can be attributed to immigration fears, according to Derek G. Turner, spokesman for the school system.

Turner emphasized that school do not ask for, or share, any information on immigration status. Families should not be concerned about sending children to school, Turner said.