Days after Fort Worth schools Superintendent Kent Scribner used Facebook to defend undocumented students who are pursuing an education through the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the school board voted to stand in favor of the program.
Trustees on Tuesday night voted 8-0 in favor of a resolution supporting the Obama-era program for youths who were brought to the country illegally as children. Trustee Judy Needham was not present for the vote.
“This is the right thing to do for all the students in FWISD,” said District 8 Trustee Anael Luebanos.
Trustees said that immigrants are part of the district’s student body and that many have urged leaders to take a stand in their behalf.
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District 1 school board member Jacinto “Cinto” Ramos said the trustees are acting as “UndocuAllies,” people who use their clout in the community to stand for a vulnerable population.
“They are asking for bold leadership — to stand with them in solidarity,” said Ramos, adding that students tell him about their concerns at church, community meetings and schools.
Earlier this month President Donald Trump announced plans to end the program in six months but urged Congress to come up with a permanent replacement.
If the program is allowed to expire, “it would have a devastating effect on members of the Fort Worth ISD family,” Scribner wrote in a Facebook message posted recently. “Current high school seniors who have college within reach could be forced to alter their post-secondary plans. Our graduates currently in college may not be able to successfully move their lives forward. The impact this decision will have on many students and their families in the Fort Worth ISD community will be far-reaching.”
The school district has more than 86,000 students. About 63 percent of students are listed Hispanic, according to state data. Studies estimate there are more than 7,000 young immigrants in Tarrant County.
The resolution also follows recent student protests and walk-outs in support of immigrant rights.
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.