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Texas School Board Urges Congress to Continue DACA

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Alan Diaz
MERRILL HOPE
Fort Worth, TX

One Texas school district not only supports Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), its school board urged Congress to continue the Obama-era executive amnesty program which the Trump Administration plans to phase out within six months.

On Tuesday night, the Fort Worth Independent School District board of trustees voted unanimously, 8-0, with one member absent, on a resolution that pledged support for the program, imploring Congress to find a “positive and permanent solution for DACA recipients.”

In a one-page resolution, board members wrote that the school district has a “legal and moral obligation to provide education to all children within the district, regardless of immigration status and the fate of DACA.”

Breitbart Texas has reported the 1982 federal case Plyler v. Doe already protects K-12 students illegally in the U.S., mandating that public schools educate them.

The Fort Worth ISD school board asserted “the uncertainty surrounding the DACA program’s future has serious implications for our students once they graduate and immediate implications for many family members of our students.” They maintained this uncertainty causes “tremendous apprehension” for DACA families, creates a “disruption in our classrooms and schools,” plus has a “detrimental impact on overall student achievement.”

Trustees pledged to “serve every student” including the “undocumented” as permitted by law, noting its full commitment to “creating a safe, welcoming learning space for every student within our care.”

The resolution then “urges Congress to act swiftly to find a positive and permanent solution for the young people who are eligible for protections under the DACA program as it has existed.”

Signed into law in 2012 by former President Barack Obama via executive order, DACA currently protects 800,000 students brought illegally into the United States as children. Breitbart Texas reported a 10-member Congressional task force is now charged with finding a legislative solution for the program otherwise set to expire in six months.

During the board meeting, trustees said migrant students urged school leaders to take a stand on their behalf. The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported  trustee Jacinto Ramos signaled board members are acting as “UndocuAllies,” people who use their clout in the community to stand for a vulnerable population.

“They are asking for bold leadership, to stand with them in solidarity,” said Ramos. He noted that students expressed their concerns to him at church, community meetings, and schools. Another board member, Anael Lubaenos, called the school board’s pro-DACA stance “the right thing to do” for all of the district’s students.

Last week, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Paredes Scribner posted his support of DACA on Facebook, asserting that if the program “is allowed to expire, it would have a devastating effect on members of the Fort Worth ISD family.” He called the impact of such a decision “far-reaching” to the community.

Scribner posted: “Our job is to educate students – ALL students, every student.”

The superintendent has been vocal on issues. In 2016, Scribner kicked off a statewide controversy when he unilaterally enacted transgender bathroom guidelines without public input from parents, community members, and taxpayers.

Fort Worth ISD enrolls roughly 86,000 students, of which 67,840 were eligible for free and reduced meals last year, according to the district’s 2016-17 annual report. They identified 62.5 percent of students as Hispanic, African-American at 22.9 percent; White or Anglo, 11.2 percent; Asian, 1.9 percent, and other at 1.6 percent. The Star-Telegram accounted for 7,700 DACA recipients in Tarrant County, where the school district is located.

Earlier in September, Fort Worth ISD students staged a walkout to protest President Trump’s decision to phase out the DACA program.

In August, the Fort Worth City Council voted against joining an open borders lawsuit filed by Democrat-dominated cities and pro-amnesty groups to stop the state’s tough new anti-sanctuary city law. This week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the state of Texas and overturned a lower court’s ruling which previously blocked parts of this law.

Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.

Fort Worth ISD School Board DACA Resolution by BreitbartTexas on Scribd

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