California’s 2nd largest school district stands with students & families on immigration reform

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by Félix Pérez

The second largest school district in California has voted unanimously to adopt a resolution in support of national immigration reform that protects “the rights of all students and their families, regardless of immigration status,” and that offers a “reasonable and wide-ranging approach to reforming the now broken immigration system.”

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Maria Miller, a San Diego Unified School District teacher, spoke at the board hearing in favor of the resolution, thought to be the first of its kind in California. Miller told a local Fox 5 TV news reporter that students live in constant fear of their families being torn apart. That fear, said Miller, makes it difficult to focus on academics.

“Our students are being interrogated, made to be afraid to be in their own neighborhoods because of ICE raids,” said Miller, referring to the federal immigration enforcement agency.

Miller recounted the story of one student whose grades dropped suddenly. “He found it in him to confide he had both his parents picked up and deported, and as a young adult [he now had] to take care of elementary school age kids.”

Board member Richard Barrera, one of the sponsors of the resolution, said:

When a student has to go to school not knowing when they come home if they’re going to see their parents again, when parents have to send their students to school not knowing if they’re going to see their kids again, we are less than what our country purports to be.

Barrera added, “As a school district, there is no public entity that has more of a responsibility to stand up for the rights of young people and families that are trying to make it in this country and trying to make this country a better place. It’s time for our district to take a stand in support of this generation’s freedom fighters, and those are the families of immigrants in our communities.”

San Diego Unified serves nearly 132,000 students. It is the 19th largest school district in the nation.

Maria Miller
                             Maria Miller

The resolution emphasizes the precarious status of DREAMer students, children and young adults who were brought to the United States by their parents: “Be it further resolved, that immigration reform in particular provide a pathway to citizenship for young people who unknowingly entered the United States without proper documentation as minor children and who have grown up here and who contribute to our society.”

The resolution goes on to state that “family separation caused by immigration enforcement endangers children and their family members, many of whom attend San Diego Unified School District schools, and a number of children who attend San Diego Unified School District schools have been separated from one or both parents as a result of an immigration raid.”

Reader Comments

  1. You are all morally wrong. Taxpayers do not deserve the burden they have become. What is wrong is wrong.

  2. The favoritism laws ever protecting the privileged will need to change. We will change them in the name of social justice and humanity. Most often unfair laws have been challenged by the people who have been hurt by them before getting replaced. It is obvious and normal that the privileged want to keep their privileges. The United State of America has come to existence based on many rules and laws being challenged and ultimately changed. Todays immigrants like those over the past decades and centuries will obtain well merited new laws sooner or later.

  3. I work in a school system, and on day to day basis come across the stress faced by the students and families who are immigrants.

    I understand the concern very well because the immigration laws, the whole process, and the whole structure is extremely overwhelming, tedious, costly, time consuming taking away the focus of the immigrant families on important aspects of life….education of children, their own jobs, and many other good things that are easily available to people who do not have to undergo this undue processes.

    I do feel that immigrant students should feel welcome and safe in school systems and therefore immigration processes should be made easier once the kids and families are present in US.

  4. I do not understand the fear if the immigrants are in the country legally. I can see a fear if they are breaking the law by being in the country illegally. I would be afraid too, if I were in another country illegally.

    1. The favoritism laws ever protecting the privileged will need to change. We will change them in the name of social justice and humanity. Most often unfair laws have been challenged by the people who have been hurt by them before getting replaced. It is obvious and normal that the privileged want to keep their privileges. The United State of America has come to existence based on many rules and laws being challenged and ultimately changed. Today’s immigrants like those over the past decades and centuries will obtain well merited new laws sooner or later, because they exist, they are here, and we have not necessarily made it easier to them to live in their native countries.

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