On Oct. 16, 2019, the California Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hosted a public meeting to hear testimony regarding the impact of federal immigration enforcement on California’s children. The committee was tasked with examining the impact of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforcement practices on access to public education, equal protection under the law for students based on their national origin and the extent to which due process is denied to K-12 students and their families.
Recognizing that the voices of school district and county office of education board members are critical to understanding the impact of federal policy on schools and students, CSBA was invited to present to the committee. Mike Ambrose, CSBA associate general counsel, presented on the existing legal protections for students, the impact of federal immigration enforcement on K-12 schools and students, and the actions districts and county offices of education around the state have taken in response.
CSBA’s testimony to the committee focused on the feedback from its members, explaining how increased immigration enforcement has impacted schools’ ability to meet their constitutional obligation to provide equal access to an education to all students, regardless of immigration status. CSBA’s testimony shared concerns raised by its members about increased student absences, students failing to enroll in school, families not attending school events and increased stress among some students affecting their ability to succeed in school. CSBA also shared the steps its members have taken to reassure families and ensure their schools are serving all students, including school districts and county offices of education passing board resolutions related to providing all children equal access to education. Finally, CSBA shared information about the existing legal protections for students and student information under federal law, state law and members’ board policies, and the challenges that remain for schools and students despite these existing protections.
CSBA will continue to work to ensure that its members’ voices, expertise and experiences are heard on important policy issues, including issues affecting their ability to serve all students in California.
Find more information in CSBA’s resources related to Students Impacted by Immigration Status.