DACA Letter from Superintendent Kellner

September 5, 2017

Dear Students, Parents, and Teachers,

President Donald J. Trump announced today that his administration will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by March 2018.  DACA was established in 2012 by President Barack Obama with the goal of allowing young people to contribute to the communities they know as home without fear of being deported. I recognize that this uncertainty can create anxiety and raise many questions for undocumented students and their families. To assist, WSCUHSD is providing the following information and resources.

DACA grants temporary protection from deportation, known as deferred action, to undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16, have resided here since 2007, and meet other requirements such as not having violated any laws. The program has roughly 800,000 participants nationally. In California, 240,000 youths have applied for DACA, according to the Education Trust-West. A multi-state coalition has threatened a lawsuit to end the DACA program, giving the Trump administration until September 5 to rescind DACA and not renew or issue any new DACA permits in the future.

At this time, we’d like to remind families with undocumented students between the ages of 6 and 18 that their children have a right to a free public education. Schools are expected to serve all students regardless of immigration status, and school districts are not required to collect information regarding a student’s immigration or legal status, aside from the statuses of nonimmigrant, international students enrolled in an educational program under an F-1 or M-1 visa. Schools are only required to collect information to satisfy certain admission requirements, such as proof of residency, none of which require the provision of proof of legal immigration status or social security numbers.

In addition, the West Sonoma County Union High School Board of Education passed a resolution in March to ensure the safety and privacy of undocumented families. The resolution reaffirms the continuation of District practices regarding student safety, privacy rights and records including that all district campuses are a safe haven for undocumented students and marginalized populations.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steven Kellner

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