Students Urge Anaheim Union High School District to Adopt Sanctuary Policy

Students plan to pressure the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) this evening to pass a sanctuary resolution protecting undocumented youth from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Back by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO), more than 50 people are expected to pack the school board meeting to press their demand.

“Coming from undocumented parents and having close friends that are undocumented really worries me,” student Alexandra Retana stated in a news release. “If my parents are deported while dropping me off at school or during an event, I would have to go with them. ICE on campus is a threat…and our school district should put that in writing.”

Even though ICE states that it avoids apprehending immigrants near churches and schools, they detained Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez last week in Highland Park after he dropped off his 12-year-old daughter at school, heightening fears in the community.

Following student-organized walkouts, the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a resolution in January pledging to protect sensitive information about immigrant students and their families against any future policies or executive orders from President Donald Trump’s administration. While shying away from the word “sanctuary,” Garden Grove Unified School District unanimously passed a resolution last month declaring itself “a safe and welcoming place for all students and their families, regardless of nation of origin or immigration status.”

Student activists and supporters plan to hold a press conference this afternoon before the AUHSD’s board meeting. If the district moves towards declare its 22 schools a “sanctuary,” it will mark a dramatic turn from the old days of former board president Harald Martin who infamously proposed billing Mexico to the tune of $50 million in 1999 for educating undocumented students.

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