Feds update deportation deferral program

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is asking school officials to tell their students and families about a federal program that grants deportation deferrals to “low priority cases,” including individuals who came to the U.S. as children.

The department’s letter  comes as school districts across the country are going about the business of educating all their students, regardless of the political debate on immigration reform.

“School leaders are well aware of their duty and responsibility to educate every school-age child regardless of immigration status,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA). “Ready access to public education is a cornerstone of our nation’s grassroots democracy.”

To support school leaders’ needs for up-to-date information on the education of undocumented Central American students NSBA will soon issue an update to its 2009 report, “Legal Issues for School Districts Related to the Education of Undocumented Children .” This joint publication of NSBA and the National Education Association discusses legal questions commonly asked by school board members and school administrators related to undocumented students.

The December issue of American School Board Journal will feature a cover story on how school districts are working with educate their immigrant and English language learner students amid national immigration controversy.

Implemented by the Obama administration in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provides undocumented students with temporary relief from the risk of deportation.

In the first phase of DACA, students must have arrived in the U.S. before June 2007 and prior to their 16th birthdays. They also must meet other criteria, such as being enrolled in school or having completed high school. To date, more than 580,000 young people have successfully applied for the DACA program.

In this program update, additional children who could request DACA -- including those who were too young in 2012 but who have now reached the age of 15 and are able to submit a request – may now do so.

More information and resources concerning DACA is available on ED’s Educational Resources for New Arrivals & DACA Students webpage.

Read more about this in NSBA's Legal Clips


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