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On the heels of Trump’s decision to end DACA, local education leaders reaffirm unwavering support for all students

Education leaders in Glendale and Burbank reaffirmed their unwavering support for all students on the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, on Tuesday.

Nayiri Nahabedian, president of the Glendale Unified school board, said during a board meeting Tuesday night that local schools will continue to be places where all students can learn and thrive without fear of being reported if their immigration status is known.

“GUSD is resolute in our commitment to provide all of our students with exemplary education … Not only do we prepare them for their future, but [also] to better all of our futures, thanks to their talents and contributions to our community,” she said.

DACA was created in 2012 by President Barack Obama to protect people who were brought into the United States as children and now live here illegally. The beneficiaries — known as Dreamers — are allowed to hold jobs, attend college and apply for student loans during a renewable two-year period.

On Tuesday, U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s decision to end DACA, but the president gave Congress six months to determine a possible fix for the program, under which roughly 800,000 people are protected.

In a statement emailed to faculty and students Tuesday evening, David Viar, president/superintendent of Glendale Community College, said the institution remains “committed to serving a diverse population of students by providing opportunities and support to achieve their educational career and goals.”

Viar stressed in his statement that the college is open to all students who meet the minimum requirements for admission, regardless of their immigration status.

Earlier this year, Glendale Unified and Glendale Community College passed resolutions declaring their campuses safe havens for students following Trump’s initial executive order on immigration, which banned all refugees from entering the United States and indefinitely barred Syrian refugees.

His order also blocked citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — from entering the United States for 90 days.

The Burbank Unified School District approved a similar resolution in January.

Glendale Community College’s resolution states that college officials “will not cooperate with any federal effort to create a registry of individuals based on any protected characteristics such as religion, nation of origin, race, gender or sexual orientation.”

In the Burbank Unified School District, California State Supt. Tom Torlakson’s statement denouncing Trump’s decision was emailed to faculty and families who subscribe to the district’s newsletter.

During a school board meeting Thursday night, Supt. Matt Hill said students will always be welcomed and protected even when policies shift.

“We’re talking about children that had no say into the situations [they’re] put into and they’re in our country now [and] in our schools…. They’re hanging in limbo right now. It’s important elected officials do the right thing by moving quickly,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) submitted an amendment in August that would prohibit funds from being used for the deportation of people granted deferred action under DACA, but it failed to pass Tuesday night.

“Less than 12 hours after President Trump announced he would end DACA, House Republicans last night blocked my amendment which would have defunded any effort to deport the Dreamers targeted by Trump’s decision,” Schiff said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Speaker [Paul] Ryan has voiced support for Dreamers, but he can't have it both ways — expressing sympathy but preventing a vote to protect them. Why hold the office of Speaker if you are unwilling to lead on such a vital and moral issue?” Schiff added.


Twitter: @vegapriscella


12:11 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Burbank Unified Supt. Matt Hill.

This article was originally published on Sept. 7.

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