LAUSD Officials Announce Partnership to Ensure Schools are “Safe Havens” for Immigrants Applying for Administrative Relief

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 9, 2014) - Today, Board Members Steve Zimmer and Mónica García along with several labor partners including Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), reinforced their commitment to support efforts and assist families with documentation related to school records in response to President Obama’s Administrative Relief on Immigration.

“We stand by all of our DREAMers and our families that can benefit from President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration,” said Board Member Mónica García. “When the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was announced, LAUSD led the nation in our preparation. With the President’s most recent announcement, we will lead again.”

On Tuesday, December 9, every LAUSD student will receive a letter directed to their parents and guardians advising them to be cautious of “so-called ‘notaries’ and dishonest lawyers (who) prey on the hopes of individuals and families seeking a better life” and to turn to trusted resources for guidance and information on the Administrative Relief application process. The joint letter is signed by representatives of LAUSD, SEIU and UTLA, and is supported by all labor partners.
 
“Collaborating with the City, our labor unions and our community partners, the LAUSD family is committed to ensuring the dignity of every student and every parent in every community. We are united in this mobilization that will bring more of our families into the full light of the American Dream,” said Board Vice President Zimmer. “We have long said our students are our greatest asset. What is even more true is that our collective assets grow as more and more families are able to grow together, learn together and thrive together without fear of deportation. We stand together in support of our President and executive action.”
 
As the second largest school district in the nation, it is estimated that thousands of current and former LAUSD students may qualify for “Administrative Relief” under the President’s expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Many parents of children enrolled in LAUSD schools may also qualify under Deferred Action for Parental Accountability.
 
“The President’s Executive Action will bring great relief to students and their families,” said Lilia Garcia, a member of SEIU Local 99 and a Community Representative at Norwood Elementary School. “I work with our school community every day and I see how much it impacts students when their mother or father is deported. The children come to school with fear or sadness. The President’s action will mean more stability for families, and this will mean students can focus on their education. I am proud that our union will be working with the District to ensure that parents can access information and resources in our schools.”
 
Later today, the LAUSD Board of Education will vote on a Resolution “Uniting Families and Strengthening America.”  It calls for President Obama’s executive action to address this immigration crisis, including the expansion of DACA, the opportunity for work permits, and reducing the likelihood for family separations, will benefit many District families.
 
“As educators, we care about the whole child— not only their academic achievements, but also the social and economic wellbeing of our students. We support the School Board’s resolution on immigration reform and accountability. Students and their parents need our help and we are ready to do all we can inside and outside of the classroom,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, UTLA President.
 
For assistance in finding the right immigration aid, families can visit the following websites: www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams or http://www.uscis.gov/es/eviteestafas.

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Contacts:
Monica Carazo (213) 241-6766
Blanca Gallegos (213) 500-9594
Suzanne Spurgeon (213) 368-6247


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