West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent Matthew Duffy released a statement to the school community regarding reports of potential U.S. immigration sweeps. His complete message follows:
“We are aware of reports last week that U.S. immigration officials could conduct major sweeps in Northern California cities in the coming weeks that would target undocumented members of our community. This action is yet another attempt to sow fear and division in our community and we cannot allow this to be successful.
This will be a challenging time for our community, and I encourage us all to support and protect each other. While immigration raids are unlikely to take place at our schools due to their designation as “sensitive locations”, the Board of Education has passed a “Safe Haven” resolution that outlines steps the District will take to support and protect undocumented students and families. A few of those steps include:
Immigration enforcement will not be allowed to take place at ANY WCCUSD school or department.
Immigration agents will not be allowed to enter any WCCUSD school or school grounds.
District employees, personnel, and contractors are prohibited from inquiring about or sharing personal information about our students or their families, including immigration status, with immigration agents.
Any request made by immigration enforcement for information or to visit a school site must be immediately forwarded to the Superintendent for review and guidance from legal counsel.
The resolution also states the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education declares that every school site or office of West Contra Costa Unified School District is a safe place for all its students and their families, and that students and their families can come to any District school or office to seek help, assistance, information, shelter and safety if faced with fear and anxiety about any and all non-criminally related immigration enforcement efforts.
I encourage you to take the proper precautions and ensure that your emergency plans are up to date. In addition, the school district has compiled a list of resources for families.
We have also learned that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced the agency is accepting DACA renewal applications in order to comply with a federal court order. One community organization is offering grants for DACA renewal. We encourage eligible people to apply for the legal protections this status provides as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, a teacher, principal or staff member at your child’s school.”