In keeping with its commitment to address issues of racial equity in education, SCSJ is continuing to work to help empower the immigrant community in the Triangle protect the human and educational rights of their children.In active cooperation with immigrant students, teachers, public officials, and community leaders and activists dedicated to advancing the interests of the immigrant community, SCSJ has successfully worked to pass welcoming resolutions for immigrant children in the Triangle. These strongly worded statements of support explicitly recognize that immigrant children are important members of the community, that they should be afforded legal representation at immigration proceedings (children are not guaranteed the right to an attorney in immigration proceedings), and that they have an absolute right to attend public schools. Since November 2014, a growing number of municipal bodies have passed such resolutions to express their support for equal access to education for all students, regardless of immigration status.
Most recently, the Durham Public School Board of Education passed a resolution on March 2, 2015 to support immigrant children, including those who travel alone to the United States to escape violence and extreme poverty. In a remarkable act of recognition for the dozens of community members who attended in support of the resolution, each member of the School Board read paragraphs of the resolution aloud. Board Chair Heidi Carter further commented that the Board’s action “is just the right thing to do.”
The sixth such action since November 2014, the Durham Public School Board action adds significantly to the growing momentum of support for immigrant children in the Triangle. Similar statements were passed by the Durham City Council (1/5/15), the Orange County Board of Education (1/12/15), the Chapel Hill Town Council (12/3/14), the Orange County Board of Commissioners (12/1/14), and the Carrboro Board of Alderman (11/18/14).
SCSJ hopes to continue to work with communities in North Carolina to pass resolutions that are supportive and empowering of the immigrant community in 2015 and beyond.
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Written By Southern Coalition for Social Justice