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Daily Action: Make California's Schools Safe for Immigrant Children & Families

Contact California Governor Jerry Brown: (916) 445-2841

Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent in ________, California. I'm calling to urge Governor Brown to designate all of our state’s schools as sanctuary “safe zones” for students and families with irregular immigration status. ICE agents should be expressly forbidden from entering California schools or school-district properties, and schools should be barred from sharing student files that might be used to ascertain the students’ legal status. Our schools should be environments where students and families can feel comfortable and confident that their civil rights will be protected -- not places for immigration enforcement or harassment. Our vulnerable students should receive the support they not only deserve and need – not merely as a matter of principle, but as a matter of law that districts are legally obligated to follow.

Earlier this month, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson urged school leaders throughout the state to declare their districts “safe havens” to protect immigrant children. However, his recommendation does not carry the force of law. In the wake of President Trump’s recent immigration order; stepped-up enforcement by ICE agents in immigrant-heavy areas of the state; and Trump’s threats to end DAPA and DACA protections, tens of thousands of students and their families have been left vulnerable – including in the school environments where they should feel most comfortable outside their own homes.

As of early February, nine of California’s 25 largest school districts had passed resolutions declaring that they would protect immigrant children. However, most of the other districts across the state have not done so. Superintendent Torlakson recently has offered strong statements on the issue, saying, “I strongly disagree with President Trump’s recent immigration order and want to make sure that our students and families…feel safe and protected in our schools. California public schools welcome all students regardless of their heritage, religion, ethnicity, background, disability or sexual orientation."