From the NY Times:
In his short life, Ousmane Coulibaly, a 19-year-old high school senior in Manhattan, has seen plenty of adversity. He grew up poor in Mali, was estranged from his family at 13 and has lived on the street there and in New York. An illegal immigrant, he is staying in a homeless shelter while he tries to graduate and obtain a special immigration status reserved for young people who have been abandoned or abused.
But now he is facing a different kind of challenge: an investigation by immigration authorities who have subpoenaed his school records, without explaining why.
The subpoena, which New York City school officials say is highly unusual here, has raised alarm among some immigration lawyers and civil libertarians who say they fear that the federal government is opening a new front in immigration enforcement, in a city where officials have staunchly defended immigrant rights.
Mr. Coulibaly’s lawyers, who have sued to quash the request, contend that the City Department of Education was prepared to release the files without resistance, even though the subpoena did not have the backing of a court order and could have been challenged.
Mr. Coulibaly arrived at Kennedy International Airport speaking little English and knowing nobody. A West African cabdriver took pity on him, he said, and drove him to an apartment in Harlem shared by several immigrants, where he was given a bed. A neighbor helped him enroll in ninth grade at Liberty High School Academy for Newcomers, a public school in Manhattan that caters to immigrants.
Mr. Coulibaly joined the varsity basketball team and became the starting center. He ended his sophomore season as the third-highest rebounder and the 19th-highest scorer in the city’s Public School Athletic League. He was benched for much of the season his junior year while he improved his grades.
Meanwhile, he tried to support himself with work at a car wash and, later, as a pizza deliveryman. He had to leave his $150-per-month bed in the Harlem apartment early this year after he fell behind on the rent. Since then, he said, he has moved from shelter to shelter.
Before the subpoena appeared, his lawyer, Ms. Burke, had been helping him prepare an application for the special immigration status for young people who are in the United States without their parents’ support. She and Mr. Coulibaly are pushing forward with that case as they battle the subpoena.