The Obama administration is ordering the nation’s public schools to support illegal immigrant students, promote the president’s amnesty and “embrace and value” the diversity and cultural backgrounds of the foreigners receiving a free, American taxpayer-funded education.
In a 63-page “Guide for Success” issued this month, the U.S. Department of Education directs teachers in the nation’s publicly funded schools to “understand the cultural and educational backgrounds” of their students and to “model multicultural sensitivity.” Teachers should also “engage in self-reflection to address personal biases and increase multicultural competence,” according to the new mandate that also orders the incorporation of diversity and immigration into instruction. “Plan and host trainings on multicultural issues that educate teachers and staff about the unique needs and challenges of undocumented students,” the document says.
Educators are also instructed to “withhold judgment and biases about immigration status.” This means that school personnel “should not make assumptions about students’ immigration status – including assuming that ethnicity or speaking languages other than English imply non-citizen status.” If a student discloses that he or she is an illegal immigrant school personnel must “convey openness and assurance of confidentiality.” Schools must also establish “safe spaces” where undocumented youth can share freely, engage with their peers and build a support system. “Individually addressing fears of deportation in a sensitive manner may be needed,” according to the new public education guide.
The goal, according to an agency statement, is to help educators and school staff support the academic success of undocumented youth and to debunk misconceptions by clarifying the legal rights of undocumented students. The guide also includes information about financial aid options available to illegal immigrant students and support for youth that want to apply for an Obama amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). “We know undocumented youth face unique challenges and we also know that educators and other caring adults in schools and colleges can play a major role in helping all students, including undocumented students, to achieve at the highest levels,” said John King, deputy secretary of education.
Nearly 700,000 illegal aliens have been granted benefits under DACA, but 1.5 million are eligible and the administration wants to maximize the numbers. In the coming years an additional 400,000 illegal alien children will become eligible, the administration reveals in its new education mandate. “To ensure that undocumented youth receive an equitable education that prepares them for college and career, it is imperative that educators and other personnel understand the unique needs of these students and receive high-quality training and support on how to best serve them,” the new guide states.
It goes on to list symptoms—including depression and anxiety—that undocumented youth suffer as a result of the migration process, which can include family separation, detention and deportation. The stress of living in the U.S. illegally may be “exacerbated when, throughout critical moments of adolescent development, barriers prevent undocumented youth from sharing core experiences with their documented peers, such as driving and starting their first job,” the document reads. The Obama administration also aims to eliminate barriers encountered by illegal aliens who want to attend college by directing schools to highlight opportunities to help undocumented youth access postsecondary education. This includes encouraging scholarship sponsors to change their policies to be inclusive of undocumented students.
While the new illegal alien guide for academic success mainly targets elementary and high schools, there is a message for colleges and universities: “Build a supportive and welcoming institutional environment for undocumented students.” This includes hiring “culturally competent faculty,” publicly demonstrating support for undocumented students and hosting an “undocumented immigrant awareness day.” Colleges and universities should also alleviate fears that students may have about their immigration status.