Important Information for Students, Staff & Families: San Diego Unified Stands Behind DACA Dreamers

Posted: Wednesday, September 6th 2017

Yesterday, President Donald Trump acted to remove the protections afforded to thousands of immigrant students under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

Despite this decision, San Diego Unified School District wants to firmly assure students and parents that we remain committed to protecting the rights of every child to an education. All children are welcome in our school community.

The mission of public schools is to create opportunity—not for some children, but for all.

We are better off as a nation thanks to the contributions of immigrants regardless of their legal status. Rescinding the rights of these dreamers is an injustice to the American People.

Statement from Superintendent, Cindy Marten:

“The DACA program has helped bring thousands of talented students and teachers to our classrooms, many of whom have become doctors, police officers and firefighters - contributing members of our communities. Rescinding this program not only impacts the legal status for thousands of immigrant children and families who make our city and our schools great, but the emotional toll is immeasurable. This action is unacceptable and as a district we will fight to protect the rights of the students we serve and deeply care for.”

Statement from School Board President, Richard Barrera:

“Under the DACA program, our immigrant students gained the hope and confidence that – like every other student – they would have the opportunity to work hard, graduate, go to college, find work and go on to lead meaningful lives. It is unconscionable to leave these young people in limbo. They deserve to know that the adults in our community will support them. They deserve to know that if they work hard and do their best, they will succeed. That is why it’s time for Congress to act.”




A Letter to our San Diego Unified Families

Our school community believes strongly in the values of tolerance and respect for diversity. We are enriched by the unique background every child brings to our classrooms. This applies equally to all children, no matter where they come from and no matter who their parents are.

San Diego Unified will maintain its commitment to providing ALL students with an education in a safe, productive learning environment. This has been the law of the land since 1982, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that undocumented students have a constitutional right to a free public education. Schools may not discriminate against undocumented students; cannot request information regarding immigration status, and cannot adopt policies or practices that discourage participation by undocumented students or their families, or lead to the exclusion of students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status.  

Following the election last fall, San Diego Unified’s Board of Education passed a resolution affirming its commitment to protecting the rights of all students and their families, regardless of immigration status. Our Board believes strongly that every student has a civil right to a free public education, and is committed to serving all children.

To protect our students and their right to a productive learning environment, I met with both the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service (ICE) and the Border Patrol. Both agencies pledged NOT to conduct immigration enforcement activites at schools. Schools have been considered “sensitive areas,” since 2011, by both ICE and the Border Patrol. As such, they do not carry out raids or other activites on school campuses.

The district is also committed to maintaining the confidentiality rights of students under the Family Educational Rights & Protection Act (“FERPA”). This law prohibits the release of student records without parental consent, including information that might indicate immigration status, unless mandated by law. Therefore, the district will not release your records to ICE.

If you or your families have questions about your legal rights, please seek independent legal counsel. If needed, the district’s Family and Community Engagement Department can provide you with information regarding public interest organizations that may be able to provide you with assistance. Their phone number is (619) 209-4553


Superintendent Cindy Marten



For more information regarding the President's DACA annoucement please visit the Department of Homeland Security's Frequently Asked Questions: Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) website in English 

or in Spanish


The Immigration Resource Center has created a community advisory information page titled "What do I need to know if the DACA program ends" you can find that resource page below both in English and in Spanish









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