California Group Offers Advice on Immigrant Students’ Rights

By Corey Mitchell — February 27, 2017 1 min read
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In response to President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, the California School Boards Association has released legal guidance and sample resolution and policies that address the rights of undocumented K-12-students.

The association released the information as district leaders question what they can to do “uphold their obligation to serve all students, regardless of immigration status,” a press release from the association reads.

Memos signed recently by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly grant federal authorities power to immediately deport vastly more undocumented immigrants. The sweeping changes to immigration enforcement policies could complicate the education of millions of students in the nation’s K-12 schools, including those who are unaccompanied minors and the children of immigrants.

The Pew Research Center estimates that, in 2014, nearly 4 million kindergarten through 12th grade students in U.S. public and private schools were the children of undocumented immigrants.

And in the last four years, hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors, many from Central American countries, have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in search of refuge. New immigration policies could make it tougher for the children to reunite with their parents or guardians already living in the United States.

Kelly’s memos estimate that 60 percent of unaccompanied minors are placed into the care of one of more parents living illegally in the United States.

Many of the children could be turned around at the border, and their guardians could face a similar fate: the Homeland Security memos could make them subject to prosecution or deportation if they attempt to bring their children across the border.

Here’s a look at the legal guidance and sample policies and resolutions adopted by the California School Boards Association.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.