From the Executive Director

May 8, 2017

ACSA has made a long-term commitment to student advocacy, and this past fall, as politics and immigration converged across the country, we doubled-down on our commitment and our duty to provide California’s 6.2 million public school students with the protections they need on school campuses.

But simply saying we’re going to provide our students with protection isn’t enough. There has to be more than lip service. ACSA is using this purpose statement for our immigration campaign from this point forward:

“For education leaders, ACSA will provide timely, pragmatic and empowering immigration information for our students, families and communities. We do this by collaborating with attorneys, immigration experts, student advocates and law-makers to supply educators, parents and students with the tools they need for educational equity and to find safety on school campuses.”

This purpose statement is guiding our work as we officially launch a website portal dedicated to immigration resources. You can find videos in English and Spanish detailing student rights, documents on how school rules impact families, social media cards and promotional tools, as well as clarification from our legal partners on the roles of district employees when and if immigration officers arrive at a school campus.

ACSA staff will be adding to this portal every week at www.acsa.org/undocumented, so I encourage you to check and recheck the content. Additionally, if you have any suggestions, questions or submissions to the portal, please contact Naj Alikhan, ACSA Senior Director of Communications at nalikhan@acsa.org.

As site leaders, we have an obligation to push this impactful messaging to those we lead so the information gets to the teachers, and ultimately gets to the students and families that need it most.

As leaders, we have a very unique opportunity to see the challenges our immigrant families face. In fact, we probably have the opportunity to see those challenges more than anybody else. Language barriers, access to technology, and other equity roadblocks are just some of those challenges.

With that knowledge and under-standing, we can make a difference. By taking on immigration challenges, we can meet the needs of all students.

I believe immigration issues and supporting undocumented students is a challenge all of us will face for years to come. We spend an incredible amount of time focus-ing on strengthening the lives of all students and ACSA is dedicated to delivering resources that are useful and timely. The expertise we are providing in this portal will prove invaluable moving forward.

- Wesley Smith

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