Saturday, January 25, 2020
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Calif. districts sue feds over DACA changes

A lawsuit filed in federal district court in Northern California seeks to block the Trump administration from eliminating the protection provided to undocumented aliens under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, the East Bay Times reports.

According to an announcement from the Berkeley Unified School District, plaintiffs include:

  1. State of California
  2. Berkeley Unified School District
  3. Santa Clara County
  4. San Jose
  5. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521

Several school districts and other agencies and institutions have filed amicus briefs in the case, BUSD said on its website last week. The suit asks the court to block the federal Department of Homeland Security from implementing the Trump administration’s announced decision to end DACA, beginning in March.

“The DHS announcement has already destabilized schools and disrupted classrooms. If implemented, the rescission will deprive districts of much-needed DACA educators,” the brief argues, according to BUSD. “It will also deprive DACA students of invaluable opportunities to work, study, and give back to our schools and communities.”

BUSD Superintendent Donald Evans and board President Ty Alper wrote a letter to community members earlier this school year, which read, in part:

The President’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will have a profound and devastating effect on many of our students, and their families, and their friends. Even if Congress does act to protect DACA in the coming months, the President’s action has caused pain and anguish in our community and across our nation.

We want our community to know that we support the right of all students to attend school, and we do not record the immigration status of our students and families. We will continue to work with our community partners, such as the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, the East Bay Community Law Center, and the Centro Legal de La Raza, to support our undocumented students and families.

We stand with our immigrant families; they are valued members of our community, and we will protect and support them in any way that we can.

The school board voted unanimously on October 25, as part of that “any way that we can” clause, to join the current lawsuit.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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