Vilified by Trump, DACA youth getting an ICEy reception across the country

This commentary is cross-posted from Education Week’s Commentary section, where Fuller regularly exchanges views with Lance Izumi.

America’s high schools rarely offer a warm cocoon for our youths, secluded from pressing social ills. Neighborhood disparities deepen wide gaps in learning. The cowardice of pro-gun politicians leads to bloodshed inside classrooms.

President Donald Trump chose Easter Sunday to again vilify the children of immigrants, falsely claiming that dangerous “caravans” of immigrants are crossing the border to take advantage of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This follows the president’s implications earlier this year that young immigrants were fording the Rio Grande River simply to join the cross-border gang MS-13 and infiltrate our schools.

The future of DACA, which covers less than a quarter of the 3.6 million undocumented residents who arrived before their 18th birthday, remains uncertain. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal on the Trump administration’s attempt to unilaterally end the program, leaving DACA recipients in limbo as the legal battle works its way through the lower appeals courts. That didn’t stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from traveling to California to warn city officials they cannot provide safe sanctuary for these youths.

But students are pushing back against Trump’s efforts to inject fear and prejudice into the nation’s high schools. Hundreds walked out of Stephen F. Austin High School in Houston last month, after Dennis Rivera-Sarmiento, a senior, was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Read the full commentary here.

 

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