Matt Duffy, West Contra Costa Unified superintendent
[On Tuesday], President Donald Trump took action that will directly impact some of the most vulnerable members of our community by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
DACA, which was established by President Barack Obama in 2012, grants temporary protection from deportation known as “deferred action” to undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16, have resided here since June 2007, and meet other requirements. Its goal is to allow young people—many of whom have lived the majority of their lives in the U.S.—to contribute to their communities without living in fear of being deported. The current administration in Washington has imposed a six-month deadline for Congress to develop an alternative to the program.
I want to assure everyone in our District, especially our students and their families directly affected by the end of DACA, that we stand with you. Our school sites and District offices are safe spaces for everyone. In our District, our mission is to ensure that all of our students, regardless of skin color, socioeconomic status, gender, religious affiliation or immigration status have not only the opportunity but the access to achieve their dreams.
As a District of opportunity, our teachers, principals, educators, and school site and District staff value our diversity. Now more than ever, we need to come together and support our young people. Our students need to know that they are valued, loved, and appreciated.
Again, I want to reinforce that our school sites, and District offices are safe spaces. The Board of Education passed the “Safe Haven” resolution on December 7, 2016, in support of students that are undocumented, Muslim or Persons of Color and their families. We stand behind that resolution.
In the meantime, I want to remind you of our immigration-related resources available for download on the District website. In addition, MALDEF, the Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America, issued answers to many frequently asked questions about immigrants’ rights and DACA in this FAQ document for students, educators, and social services providers.
If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact me, a teacher, principal or staff member at your child’s school.