Dreamers are everywhere – bringing diversity, joy, and innovation to schools, places of worship, workspaces, and communities across the country. Dreamers embody the story of America, and denying their ability to live, grow, and thrive here perpetuates historic cycles of exclusion and discrimination.
The recent ruling from a Texas federal court halting new applications to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy not only creates barriers to safety, support, and success for Dreamers, it also unnecessarily inhibits the potential of our nation by threatening the future of some of our most visionary thinkers, problem-solvers, innovators, and social entrepreneurs.
As an organization, America Forward is committed to breaking down barriers between people and opportunity and championing innovative and effective solutions to our country’s most pressing challenges in order to move all of America forward; the recent DACA ruling does the opposite. We are deeply disappointed in the decision and firmly stand with every DACA recipient. We see you. We value you. We stand with you.
We wholeheartedly support the recent statement from the Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights stating their commitment to protect all students’ access to education free from discrimination, and echo Secretary Cardona’s determination to safeguard every student’s continued right to public education.
Specifically for students, families, and educators grappling with the impact of this decision, below are key facts and resources from the U.S. Department of Education:
- A State may not deny access to public education to any child residing in the State, including children who are not citizens and do not have immigration documentation. The Supreme Court made this clear nearly forty years ago in a case called Plyler v. Doe.
- School districts may not bar students from enrolling in public elementary and secondary schools based on the citizenship or immigration status of the student or their parent or guardian.
- School districts may not request information about the citizenship or immigration status of students or their families with the purpose or result of denying them access to educational opportunities.
- Students who are English learners have a right to appropriate language assistance services, and parents and guardians have a right to receive communications from their children’s school in a language they can understand.
- Dear Colleague Letter on School Enrollment and Student Citizenship, including guidance on schools’ obligations to permit students to enroll and participate in a school’s educational services without discrimination based on the immigration status of students or their parents or guardians.
- Dear Colleague Letter on English Learners and Limited English Proficient Parents, including guidance on the rights of students who are English learners and the rights of parents and guardians who have limited English proficiency.
- Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School: Questions and Answers for States, School Districts and Parents, which answers questions about enrollment, documentation, and measures to support students with undocumented immigration status.
- Fact Sheet: Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School, with information for families and school districts about documentation and enrollment policies.
- Resource Guide – Supporting Undocumented Youth, with information about legal guidelines, models from the field, and more to support students in elementary, secondary and postsecondary education.
- Institutions of higher education can continue to provide emergency grants through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to DACA recipients so they can enroll and continue in postsecondary education.
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