Amid the concerns from immigrant families about the new Trump administration, schools all across the United States are taking steps to protect students.
During the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump promised to deport undocumented immigrants and build a wall to keep them out of the States. What many are most afraid of is that he will undo Obama’s executive decision, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative. This is the what grants temporary deportation relief to so many young undocumented immigrants.
District of Columbia Public Schools chancellor John Davis wrote a Q&A for the District community that reminded both staff and families that students will not be asked about their immigration status. He also told families about DCPS-sponsored workshops that will fill them in on the details about their immigration rights.
It doesn’t end there. School boards in Minneapolis, Denver, and Los Angeles have all taken steps to set up safe havens and informed families that ICE agents are not permitted on campus.
California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, sent a letter to state administrators asking them to “remind families about existing laws that protect them and their students’ records from questions about immigration status.”
Now, college and university students are asking their institutions to also step up and declare campuses sanctuaries.
Petitions have garnered signatures at some of the most prestigious post-secondary schools in the country. Students are asking Harvard University, Oberlin College, Yale University, Stanford University and Columbia University, among others, to declare themselves sanctuary campuses for the good of the students.
New York University has already declared themselves as such, and Pomona College is considering doing the same. Over 90 college and university presidents signed a statement that supports the continuation of DACA.
According to policy experts, DACA benefits not just undocumented families but also the economy. These economic benefits vary from state to state based on the number of immigrants each state has.
Texas, for example, which has a large immigrant population, saw GDP growth over 10 years to the tune of $38.3. Experts have also said that over the next 10 years, there could be a $17.6 billion increase in income for all Texans, and it’s all thanks to DACA.
A national survey was released by immigrant advocacy groups back in October, and it found that 95 percent of respondents who got work authorization and deportation relief through DACA are either employed or enrolled in school. Two-thirds of them also said they got better pay, and some said they have better working conditions under DACA.