3.6.6 Rights of Undocumented Students

Rights of Undocumented Students

The San Francisco Unified School District is a safe haven for all students regardless of citizenship status.  Every student has the right to attend school regardless of the immigration status of the child or of the child’s family members.  All students, if they meet the federal and state criteria, are entitled to receive school services including free/reduced price school meals, transportation and other educational services.  (SFUSD Board Policy 5145.10 Protection of the Rights of Undocumented Students; SFUSD Board Resolution No. 74-24A2 “SF Board of Education Commitment to Education of All Immigrant Children and Opposition to Recent ICE Raid;” SFUSD Board Resolution No. 171-10A1 “Undocumented, Unafraid, United”).  District policy and resolution provide for the following:

  • 1.  Access to Records or Information: District personnel shall not inquire about a student’s immigration status, including requiring documentation of a student’s legal status, such as asking for a green card, citizenship papers or social security number. District staff shall refrain from seeking/maintaining any information about immigration status in written student records.  Any requests for student information by ICE Officials shall be referred to the Legal Office to ensure compliance with federal and state law.  Compliance with any valid court order shall be strictly limited to the terms of the order.
  • 2.   Access to Students on Campus:  The School Board has found that the presence of Immigration Officials or Representatives on a school site is likely to lead to a disruption of the educational setting.  Therefore, any Immigration Officials or Representatives intending to enter an SFUSD school should first notify the Superintendent’s Office or Legal Office of its intention, with adequate notice so that the District can take steps to provide for the emotional and physical safety of its students and staff; and to allow the Superintendent and Legal Office an opportunity to review the request to determine whether access will be approved. 
    • Immigration Officials or Representatives that contact a school site directly shall be asked to go to the SFUSD Central Office at 555 Franklin to seek approval for access to the school site from the Superintendent’s Office or Legal Office.  Immigration Officials or Representatives that do not agree to go to the Central Offices shall be directed to remain in the main office/reception area of the school while the Central Office reviews the request.  
    • At a minimum, Immigration Officials or Representatives shall be expected to comply with their agency’s applicable guidelines and limitations regarding access to schools or students.  However, in addition to compliance with such policy the Superintendent and Legal Office review shall protect student privacy and limit access to the fullest extent permissible under the law. 
  • 3. Process When Parents Have Been Detained or Deported:  If the school learns that a student’s parent/guardian has been detained and/or deported, the school shall contact all numbers on the student’s emergency card to identify a relative or caregiver authorized to take care of the student in the parents’ absence.  It is important that each student emergency card is up to date and includes contact information for all relatives or caregivers authorized to care for the student.
  • 4. Offer Centralized Resources:  The District shall establish or expand a central resource with the necessary expertise to support undocumented students and mixed-status families, including but not limited to training counselors and teachers on working with immigrant and undocumented students and their families on issues such as rights to college access, financial assistance for college, employment and career opportunities, and other issues that may arise; gathering and providing information regarding earning opportunities, internships and trainings that do not require a social security number; providing accessible resources or toolkits regarding laws and regulations on equitable access to educational opportunities, access to a school environment free from bullying and discrimination, legal, medical, housing or other assistance; and partnering with culturally and linguistically appropriate organizations with expertise in providing supports and opportunities for undocumented students.
  • 5. Immigrant & Refugee Liaison:  The District will provide a liaison at middle and high schools with expertise necessary to offer support and resources to undocumented students and mixed-status families; including but not limited to: establishing school clubs such as a Dreamers Club or confidential support groups for undocumented students through the Wellness program; providing information regarding earning opportunities, internships and trainings that do not require a social security number; providing resources or toolkits at school and through parent events or conferences in multiple languages for community resources for legal, medical, housing or other assistance; partnering with culturally and linguistically appropriate organizations in providing supports and opportunities for undocumented students; connecting with local community partners to provide multilingual workshops designed to teach students their rights, how to remain as safe as possible depending on different legal statuses, and how to organize their communities and allies; and establishing equivalent age-appropriate support programs in elementary schools.

This section provides a summary of Board resolutions. Review the full content of these resolutions.