A week ago, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Sacramento. The visit was to announce that the Trump administration would be filing a lawsuit over three new immigration laws California recently passed and to express displeasure at California’s declaration of itself as a “Sanctuary State.” He even reminded California “there is no secession.”
Gov. Jerry Brown called the visit and announcement a political stunt. He even went so far as to accuse Sessions of trying to placate President Trump in order to save his job.
Aside from the national and state implications, there are local concerns as well, since school districts have many students who are either immigrants or whose families are immigrants, and the Trump administration’s hard line on immigration has raised the stress levels of students and families.
In response, ACSA President-elect Holly Edds and Past President Ralph Porras made a video statement to give ACSA’s position on the issue as it applies to California’s K-12 schools.
Porras noted that first and foremost, ACSA stands strong and steadfast in its support of all California’s students, including those who fall under the protection of the state’s sanctuary laws or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA.
“The United States government’s lawsuit against California is a direct attack on California families and their children,” Porras said. He noted that 2.3 million immigrants are protected by the state’s sanctuary laws, a number that includes 200,000-plus students.
“It is our duty as educational leaders to deliver a healthy and safe environment on our school campuses, while providing every student with the resources they need to grow into the next generation of American leaders,” he said.
Edds agreed, noting that ACSA is joining Gov. Brown and state and local leaders in support of the sanctuary laws.
“The laws passed in January are designed to provide stability for California families,” she said. “The federal government contends that California’s sanctuary state legislation actively obstructs the efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. But the work done by ICE agents in our communities has been proven in a UCLA civil rights project study as having a direct impact on students by increasing absenteeism due to fear, as 12.3 percent of our students have an undocumented parent.
“ACSA will continue to stand by our students’ advocacy and dedicate our efforts to secure a constitutionally guaranteed education to all California students.”
The video can also be viewed on ACSA’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/bzMILJZvm1Y.