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Memo From Superintendent Matsuda on DACA Rescission (English / Arabic / Korean / Spanish / Vietnamese)

Arabic version (PDF)   Korean version (PDF)   Spanish version (PDF)   Vietnamese version (PDF)





Date:  September 5, 2017

To:     Members of the AUHSD Community

From: Mike Matsuda, Superintendent

Subject:  Federal Government Rescinds DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals


This morning, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the government is effectively ending the program that enabled young people brought to the United States before age 16 to work, go to school, or serve in the military without fear of being deported, for an initial two-year period. (The deferments did not grant citizenship or legal residency.)


DACA was created by executive action in August 2012. The federal government is ending DACA by not accepting new permits and by allowing existing permits to expire with no opportunity to reapply. However, the White House has said that if Congress approves of DACA, it should revive it with legislation, which the president would consider favorably. President Trump gave Congress six months to find a legislative solution.


Who qualified for DACA?


  • Those who were enrolled in or had graduated from high school or college, or had been honorably discharged from the armed services, and;
  • Those who were under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, and had arrived in the U.S. before turning age 16 before 2007, and;
  • Those who had no felony conviction or gang affiliation.


The California Dream Act is unrelated to the federal DACA program. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the California Student Aid Commission urged all eligible students to continue to apply for the program, which allows undocumented students to receive state financial aid for college.


Superintendent Torlakson also strongly denounced the decision to suspend DACA and told California public school students and their families that California will keep protecting and supporting them.


“Our country made an honest deal with these students—study hard, earn your degree, and you will get a fair chance to compete for college. We should keep deals, not break them. We should support dreams, not defer and destroy them,” Torlakson said.


“These students embody the American dream. Their hard work, energy, dedication, and diverse background help them contribute to our economy, while adding to the rich cultural heritage that makes California a dynamic global leader.”


Torlakson called on Congress to act swiftly to restore the program. “I urge Congress to step up, find a permanent path to citizenship, and protect these immigrants,” he said.


Under federal law, school districts are required to provide all children with equal access to public education. The United States Supreme Court held in the case of Plyler v. Doe, (1982), that a state may not deny access to a basic public education to any child residing in the state, whether present in the United States legally or otherwise.


To comply with the Supreme Court mandate and federal civil rights laws, school districts must ensure that students are not barred from enrolling in a public school  on the basis of their own citizenship or immigration status, or that of their parents.


In these uncertain times, I want to assure the AUHSD community that we remain committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment for all students and their families. My colleagues and I are mindful that many of our students and their families are impacted by this decision, and we will continue to be understanding and supportive of their concerns.