Immigration Q&A

  • Does San Juan Unified provide resources for students or families looking to renew under DACA?

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    San Juan Unified does not have the legal or other resources to provide these types of services. Families can find links to other organizations that offer direct assistance at http://www.sanjuan.edu/immigration. 

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  • How many Dreamers are in San Juan Unified

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    Staff are aware of examples where students have self-identified as dreamers in sharing their stories with teachers and peers. But, the district does not ask for immigration status from students, families or employees nor do we have a need to know if someone is participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. Therefore we do not know how many members of our community participate in DACA. 

     

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  • Are undocumented students legally able to attend schools?

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    Yes. Undocumented students between the ages of 6 and 18 not only have a right to attend school in California, but are mandated to attend school pursuant to the compulsory attendance laws. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that no state may deny access to a basic public education to any child residing within the state, whether residing in the U.S. legally or not.

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  • Do schools allow immigration enforcement officials or other government authorities on campus?

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    Current federal guidelines deem schools as 'sensitive locations' and restrict immigration enforcement activities on campuses unless there are urgent reasons. You can learn more about sensitive locations on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. District staff are monitoring these federal guidelines in case any changes are made. 

    School districts have the right to limit the amount of disruption to the learning environment and to ensure the safety of their staff and students, which may include denying an individual from accessing a campus during school hours.

    In the unlikely event that ICE or other government authorities decide to pursue immigration-related investigations on school campuses, school staff should follow appropriate district procedures applicable to any visitor on campus including requesting guests to sign-in, provide identification and obtain the appropriate approvals for entry from the site administrator or superintendent. If a government official produces a warrant or court order site administrators should immediately contact legal services at (916) 971-7110. 

    School districts that allow non-immigrant, international students (who are in the U.S. under an F-1 or M-1 visa) to enroll in their programs through ICE’s “Student and Exchange Visitor Program” (SEVP) are subject to onsite visits from SEVP officials at any time and must provide officials with certain records on such students. The SEVP, however, does not have the authorization to review the records of students suspected of being undocumented.

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  • What immigration status related P-12 student information does the district currently collect?

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    School districts are not required to and San Juan Unified does not collect information regarding a student’s immigration, citizenship or legal status, aside from the statuses of non-immigrant, international students enrolled in an educational program under certain visas. Schools are only required to collect information to satisfy certain admission requirements, such as proof of residency, none of which require providing proof of legal immigration status or social security numbers.

    As required by the California Department of Education, the district does collect and report students’ country of birth in order to calculate the number of immigrant and English learner students in the state and to ensure compliance with the Title III provisions of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

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  • What student information does the district collect on adult education students?

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    San Juan Unified is not required and does not collect information on adult students’ immigration status.

    However, because Sacramento County is home to a U.S. District Court, the county superintendent of schools may be required to obtain the names of persons who have filed their intention to become citizens of the U.S. or their petitions for naturalization. San Juan Unified has not been requested to assist in collecting this information from its adult students at this time.

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  • Do schools allow ICE, police or other government authorities to have access to student records?

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    Access to student records should only be allowed if the requesting agency has a valid court order or subpoena in compliance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or immigration laws and regulations. All such requests should be referred to the legal office or San Juan Central which maintains the district’s official student records.  

    In cases where records would be provided, the district must make reasonable efforts to notify the parent or eligible student in advance of disclosing the documents so that the parent or eligible student may seek protective action, unless the court order or subpoena relates to a federal jury investigation or law enforcement purpose, or relating to domestic or international terrorism. 

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  • What student information does the district share in response to a public records request?

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    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) supersedes public record laws and requires that school districts maintain the confidentiality of all personally identifiable student information in education records related to students. Any and all records, including emails and cumulative files, are generally exempt from disclosure or subject to redaction to prevent disclosure of personally identifiable information.

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  • Will schools release students to immigration officials if a parent is taken into custody?

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    No. San Juan Unified schools will only release students to adults authorized on emergency cards. Parents with such concerns should make advance arrangements with relatives or friends to ensure that their children can be released to an authorized caregiver or adult and be sure to list appropriate individuals on emergency cards.

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  • Are undocumented parents required to undergo fingerprinting in order to volunteer at school?

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    All parents, irrespective of their legal status, have a right to participate in their children’s education and are encouraged to do so. Proof of legal residency is not a prerequisite to the enrollment of their children in school or participation in school activities.

    San Juan Unified requires that all volunteers who may be left with students while unsupervised by school staff for any amount of time be fingerprinted. Parents and volunteers who will be supervised directly by school staff at all times are not required to undergo a fingerprint background check. School staff should know which of their volunteers are fingerprinted and which are not at all times.

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