Trump threatens to cut funds from sanctuary cities; Berkeley could lose $11.5M — Berkeleyside

Trump threatens to cut funds from sanctuary cities; Berkeley could lose $11.5M0By Frances DinkelspielJan. 25, 2017, 3:05 p.m.UC Berkeley students held a rally Dec. 9 to protest against threatened deportations. Photo: Anthony BertolliThe city of Berkeley could lose up to $11.5 million in federal funds if President Donald Trump goes through with his promise to punish sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with immigration law.Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday dealing with immigration, including one to build a wall along the 2,000-mile-border between the U.S. and Mexico. Trump reiterated his promise that Mexico, not U.S. taxpayers, will pay for the wall even though the Mexican president has said his country will not pay a dime.Trump also promised to speed up the deportation of undocumented immigrants and punish those who interfered with the efforts.It’s unclear, however, just how bad the impact of the executive order will be for Berkeley and other sanctuary cities. The actual wording states that it is the policy of the executive branch to “ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law.” Which of Berkeley’s federal funds will qualify as “mandated by law” is an open question. Berkeley officials have been expecting an action that might threaten the money the city gets from the federal government. On Nov. 22, then Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguín held a press conference to make clear that he and the City Council will ensure Berkeley remains a sanctuary city, offering protection to immigrants and undocumented residents. Numerous city and school district officials joined with him at the press conference and pledged their dedication to Berkeley’s sanctuary status.On Wednesday, Arreguín sent out two tweets addressing the issue.Late today, Arreguín issued a collective press release denouncing Trump’s actions with the mayors of Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose,“Our values of human rights, equity, and inclusion have come under attack by the Trump Administration,” Arreguín said in the statement. “In just two days, Trump has pushed a divisive wall, stripped our citizens of civil liberties, and cut funding to cities that have the courage to stand up for all people – whether or not they are legal citizens. We will not be intimidated by threats to cut funding to cities that believe in the fundamental notion that no person is illegal. No amount of federal funding is worth betraying our values.”Donald Evans, the superintendent of BUSD, sent out an email this afternoon reiterating the district’s committment to protecting students who are undocumented. “Dear Berkeley Unified School District Families,We want you to know that we are committed to protecting the right of every student to attend public school, regardless of immigration status of the student or of the student’s family members.On December 7, 2016, the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education adopted an official policy that provides protections to immigrant families and affirms the right of undocumented children to a public education. This right has also been upheld by the United States Supreme Court in a case called Plyler v. Doe.On January 25, 2017, the Board will adopt a resolution that reiterates its position that all students have the right to attend our public schools, regardless of the immigration status or religious affiliation of the student or of the student’s family members.Because it is our duty and responsibility to provide each child in our District with a high-quality public education in a safe and nurturing environment, we have given these directions to the staff at our schools: Our staff will not request information or make a record of information on the immigration status of a student or family member. Furthermore, students and families will not be required to provide a social security number for school forms.If the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency asks for access to a school or for access to student information, they will be politely denied and referred directly to the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services who will refer the matter to the District’s legal counsel.Anyone in our schools seeking answers to questions about immigration will be referred to local non-profit immigration law organizations, such as the East Bay Community Law Center and the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant or other recommended resources available on the district website.Our immigrant families are not the only ones who are concerned about possible changes in federal policies. We want you to know that our district rejects all discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, disability and sexual orientation.The core values of our district continue to guide us through these times: Our students are our priority. We take pride in our diversity. We hold high expectations for ourse

Source: Trump threatens to cut funds from sanctuary cities; Berkeley could lose $11.5M — Berkeleyside

Oxford Elementary, Berkeley – Inauguration day 2017

From: Elizabeth Rhine
Date: Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Subject: [Oxford e-list] Jan. 20, 2017

Dear Oxford Community,

This morning we had planned to have a Peace March around the neighborhood to show unity and community at Oxford Elementary.  Unfortunately, due to the weather, we had to cancel it.  I was able to visit several classrooms and saw some wonderful things happening related to Martin Luther King Jr. and the Inauguration.
– a class watching Martin and Me
– a class listening to “I Have a Dream” while they drew or wrote something related to the theme
– a class having a discussion about the Inauguration and our government system
– a class writing their own “I Have a Dream” speeches
This afternoon, a few classes decided to have a short Peace March, just to share their statements of Hope, Love, and Unity.  It was super cute!  (It started to rain, so we had to cut it a little short.)
I think a few classes want to hold another Peace March on Monday – your children are amazing!
Have a good weekend.

Beth Rhine, Principal
Oxford Elementary School

Berkeley USD Protection of Undocumented Students


New Board Policy on Undocumented Students
The Board unanimously approved a policy at its December 7, 2016 meeting to protect undocumented students. You can find the full policy here.
The Board also gave direction to District staff to circulate the policy widely, and develop a plan for training staff on implementation of the policy. The Board will receive an update on these efforts at its January 11 meeting, at which time the Board will also consider a Board Resolution that re-affirms the District’s commitment to protecting all students, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, or immigration status.

Pre-Inauguration, California Districts Declare Sanctuary Schools

Oakland Unified students speak at a board meeting calling for a strong sanctuary resolution.

Oakland Unified students speak at a board meeting calling for a strong sanctuary resolution. (Courtesy of Parents United for Public Schools)

At their neighborhood park in Oakland, Marina Morales and her five-year-old daughter, Ruby, look for water insects in the creek and then test the bells on a playground structure.

Ruby is a typical kindergartner: she’s curious about everything. After the election, Morales says her daughter had a lot of questions for her about whether President-elect Donald Trump could do anything to separate their family. Ruby was born here and is a U.S. citizen. But her mother is from Guatemala and has been living in California for nine years without immigration documents.

Morales says when she dropped her daughter off at school the day after the November election, it was clear a lot of families were worried, especially since the president-elect made promises to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants and ban some Muslims from entering the country.

Continue reading “Pre-Inauguration, California Districts Declare Sanctuary Schools”


December 21, 2016

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Principals:


In this time of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear I strongly encourage you to join me in declaring our public schools “safe havens” for students and their parents and to remind families about existing laws that protect them and their students’ records from questions about immigration status.

Unfortunately, since the presidential election, reports of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of K-12 students based on immigration status, religious, or ethnic identification are on the rise.

As State Superintendent of Public Instruction, safety is my top priority. And my strongest commitment to you, your students and their families is that schools remain safe places to learn. California serves more than 6.2 million kindergarten through twelfth grade students with the most diverse population in the nation.

Parents should know they are welcome on our school campuses regardless of their immigration status. We encourage all parents and guardians to participate in their school communities and in the education of their children. Engaged parents play a key role in helping our students succeed. That is one reason encouraging parent engagement is a top priority for California schools and one of the key local indicators of success for our schools and districts.

The California Department of Education will continue to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with guidelines about existing laws that protect student records, including:

  • The 1984 Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe requires schools to enroll all eligible children regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
  • State and federal laws prohibit educational agencies from disclosing personally identifiable student information to law enforcement, without the consent of a parent or guardian, a court order or lawful subpoena, or in the case of a health emergency.
  • Districts must verify a student’s age and residency, but have flexibility in what documents or supporting papers they use. They do not have to use documents pertaining to immigration status.
  • To determine age, for example, an LEA can rely on a statement from a local registrar, baptismal records, or an affidavit from a parent guardian or custodian.
  • To determine residency, an LEA can rely on property tax receipts, pay stubs, or correspondence from a government agency.

Since LEAs do have wide discretion in what records they use, I strongly recommend that they do not collect or maintain documents related to immigration status.

Some California districts, such as the Los Angeles Unified School District and Sacramento Unified School District, have declared themselves to be “safe havens” to let their communities know they will maintain a welcoming environment for all students and parents. I support this message.

Here is an example of a resolution from the Sacramento City Unified School District

Together, we can make it clear we will do our best to make sure the prospect of the deportation of undocumented students and their families will not interfere with helping our students succeed.

Our schools are not and will not become an arm of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE). Instead, they will remain safe places for learning and teaching for all students, regardless of immigration status.

Please join me in spreading this message. We can and must support each other as California leads the way forward.


Tom Torlakson


Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

AAUP Condemns Hate Crimes Endorses Campus Sanctuary Movement

November 23, 2016

The American Association of University Professors is the latest academic group to speak out against hate crimes and support the campus sanctuary movement for undocumented students. Its national council recently approved a resolution saying that since Donald Trump’s election as president, the U.S. has experienced “an unprecedented spike in hate crimes, both physical and verbal, many of them on college and university campuses. These have been directed against African-Americans, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, women and people with disabilities. In some instances the perpetrators have invoked the president-elect in support of their heinous actions. The AAUP national council unequivocally condemns these attacks and calls on college and university administrators, faculty, staff and students to unite against them. Violence, threats of violence and harassment have no place on campus.”

The resolution urges colleges and universities to ensure that all members of their campuses “may seek knowledge freely,” reiterating AAUP’s 1994 Statement on Freedom of Expression and Campus Speech Codes. That statement says that on a free and open campus, “no idea can be banned or forbidden. No viewpoint or message may be deemed so hateful or disturbing that it may not be expressed.”

At the same time, the new resolution says, “threats and harassment differ from expressions of ideas that some or even most may find repulsive. They intimidate and silence. The free exchange of ideas is incompatible with an atmosphere of fear. Colleges and universities must be places where all ideas and even prejudices may be freely and openly debated and discussed, but such discussion cannot happen when some members of the community are threatened or excluded. Our goal must be to provide safety for both ideas and for all those who wish to engage with them.”

AAUP calls on administrators “to take swift and firm action, consistent with due process rights, against those who have perpetrated violence and those whose menacing behavior threatens both the safety of members of our community and their sense of inclusion,” and “to make clear to all on the campus that such assaults will not be tolerated and to encourage frank and respectful discussion instead.” The association encourages AAUP chapters and all faculty members “to speak out against these assaults and to support all efforts to ensure that campus communities are welcoming and inclusive of all groups and ideas. During this difficult time the faculty voice needs more than ever to be heard loud and clear.”

AAUP says undocumented students, “many of whom have been in this country since early childhood,” are particularly vulnerable. “Concern for the welfare of these students has already prompted a rash of petitions calling on colleges and universities to become ‘sanctuary campuses,’” the resolution says, endorsing the notion. “While colleges and universities must obey the law, administrations must make all efforts to guarantee the privacy of immigrant students and pledge not to grant access to information that might reveal their immigration status unless so ordered by a court of law. Nor should colleges and universities gather information about the citizenship or immigration status of people who have interactions with the administration, including with campus police. College and university police should not themselves participate in any efforts to enforce immigration laws, which are under federal jurisdiction. Faculty members should join efforts to resist all attempts to intimidate or inappropriately investigate undocumented students or to deny them their full rights to due process and a fair hearing.”

The resolution also calls on Trump to reconsider his appointment of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and “to more vehemently denounce the hate crimes being committed in the president-elect’s name and act to ensure the safety of members of threatened communities and the freedom of all to teach, study and learn.”

Economics, UC Berkeley

November 9, 2016

(really really long email sent to my Econ 1 students just now)

To my students

It is my honor and privilege to be your Professor. I do not know if my words will be helpful to you on this day, but I offer them to you with a heavy heart on what is for me a most difficult day.

I have been thinking about what to say to you for more than a day, even when I was far more optimistic about the results and then again when my anxiety mounted in the last 11 days. Yet even with several weeks to think, I am still struggling to come up with the right words. The right sentiment. This is long and touches on several different aspects of the election.

I think it’s important to remember that the popular vote is nearly evenly split, with about 60 million votes for each candidate. If you were on the winning side of this election, be humble; more people voted against your candidate than for. If you were on the losing side of this election, take heart; 60 million people voted as you did. You are not alone. Berkeley is not alone. California is not alone.

I also think it’s important for everyone – on both sides – to stop demonizing and otherizing those who voted for the other candidate. We are, as President Obama said this morning, one nation. We must find ways beyond our divisions. That will not happen until we talk respectfully with each other. Doing so is challenging, and today may not be the day for it. I encourage you to work hard to not put in writing something that you’ll regret later, something hard to take back when sitting at the family table in three weeks.

And I think it’s important to remember that not everyone who voted for the winning candidate was motivated by a white supremacist male-dominant heteronormative vision of America. Some were. But many who voted for him did so because of economic displacement or rising inequality and a political system that has done nothing to address these problems for over 30 years. When my brother lost his job as part of the late 1980s/early 1990s wave of contracting out, economic displacement became an important topic for me in my classes. Starting in the 1980s, there were many people like my brother – he would have turned 71 on election day – who had grown up expecting a world in which they got a good middle class job which they kept for their entire work lives, received steady wage increases, were afforded a good standard of living with a house and a car and two dogs and a picket fence, and then would retire at age 65 with a pension and a gold watch. That was the world the children of the 1950s and 1960s thought they were going to inherit. Or at least the world the white children of those decades thought they were going to inherit. And because their world view was formed before the important immigration reform of 1965, and the Civil Rights Act of 1965, and the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s, that expectation was a white guy’s expectation of a white guy world.

Economists by and large stood idly by as that world disappeared. Contracting out. Technological progress. Import competition. Rising incomes disproportionately increasing the demand for services. Not to mention immigration reform, Civil Rights Act, feminism and ultimately more. And here we are 30 years later with a large group of people – tens of millions of them – who do not see a place for themselves in the America of today. You might want to say “Oh, well, suck it up.” But think back to that exercise we did in the first week of the semester about the meaning of work. Work – a job – means more to people than just a paycheck. Many of us gain our identity from our work, and from how we are treated at work. Call me into the office at 3 pm and tell me I’m one of 300 people being laid off that day, and please get my things and the officer here will escort me to my car … that’s more than just an incident of unemployment. And when that moment means the end of the life I had envisioned, the life my father or grandfather had lived, it is a moment with far, far more meaning than any model of unemployment or wages or the like could capture.

And so as sick as I am about the election results today – and the Tylenol bottle and I have been good friends today – I am also deeply aware that my profession has failed to use its talents and skills and passions to adequately address the issues of economic displacement and economic inequality that I believe led tens of millions of people to vote for the winning candidate. We have work to do, and it should commence soon.

Even with just the Econ 1 level of econ knowledge that you now have, you have acquired many tools that you can use to understand, explain, engage in debate. We talked about comparative advantage and the gains from trade, and you read that important article about “how economics has failed America” (…/economics-has-failed-america-gl…/) in not focusing on the costs of trade. Addressing externalities is an important part of dealing with climate change. Pressures on small businesses of additional costs is something you’ve analyzed. Inequality of income and its various effects on the economy. Policies for addressing unemployment. There’s a lot of material that we cover in Econ 1 that touches directly on issues raised by this election. Take your knowledge and your well-deserved confidence in that knowledge, and engage in reasoned debate with others. Move the conversation forward.

At the same time, there are certainly others who voted for the winning candidate precisely because of the vision of America he championed. That’s the part that makes me nauseous, gives me insomnia, and has repeatedly brought forth tears today. And while I can choose to blend in with my white skin and graying hair and “really, she’s a lesbian?!?” look, I am painfully aware that is not a privilege everyone – or even most of you – enjoy. I get the fear. It makes me sick at heart today, because what I want most of all is to give you a world free of fear, free of threat. We must stand up for each other. We must commit to heart the words of Martin Niemoeller, and practice them every day. (…)

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I believe strongly in what Hillary Clinton said this morning in her concession speech (…/pol…/hillary-clinton-concession-speech/). The peaceful transition of power is something about our country that we not only respect, but we cherish. The continuity, the future, the existence of our country depends upon it. And so, with no less fear or trepidation about what policy actions lie ahead, I fully support the peaceful transition. We have one President in this country. Like him or hate him, he is our President. I surprised myself last night when, unable to sleep at 1 or 2 a.m., I heard myself praying for him. I left the specifics up to God.

And perhaps most importantly, believing in the peaceful transition of power and believing that he will be our President by no means implies that we all just shrug it off with “Oh, well. That’s over. What’s for dinner?” The First Amendment to the Constitution ( guarantees our rights to expression and to peaceably assemble:

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Regardless of who had won last night, it is our obligation to get involved and stay involved. Not just until the pressure to study for finals starts, but always. Think about ways in which you can make a difference. Protesting may be one of those ways (please note the “peaceably” part of the amendment and stay safe, too). Volunteering at Planned Parenthood or the Southern Poverty Law Center or the ACLU or any of another several dozen organizations may be what you can do. Running for elective office or working for an elected official might be your thing. Majoring in economics (seriously) and embarking on a career of using analysis to address the problems of the displaced and the underprivileged may be your choice. Speaking up – even when it makes your heart race in fear – in protection of someone being harassed may be your calling. We can and must all be involved.

These are uncertain times. They are, for many of us, frightening times. If you or someone you know is overwhelmed by it all, please don’t hesitate to contact Tang’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) at (510) 642-9494 for 24/7 access to a counselor by phone. You may also contact any one of the following 24/7 suicide hotlines: Crisis Support Services of Alameda County, 800-309-2131 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255).

I have great hope for the future. The pundits say “demographics are (political) destiny” and I believe that is true. You are the future, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Today we grieve. Tomorrow we choose where and how we want to make a difference, roll up our sleeves, and get to work. America needs us.

With deep gratitude and affection,

Prof. Olney

Oxford Elementary, Berkeley

November 9, 2016

Dear Oxford Community,

I started this email this morning but have been struggling not only find the time to complete it, but to find the right words.  Now that there are emails coming from parents/guardians via the Oxford list, I’d like to share my thoughts and ask that we are careful how we move forward and also, how we use the Oxford email list.
The playground was buzzing this morning from the results of the presidential election. I overheard two 3rd grade boys discussing how a wall is going to be built between the US and Mexico.  Other students were yelling and shouting about the results.  I had one student talk about how his mother will be impacted if Obamacare is eliminated.  Buzzing is the right word to describe the feeling outside.  Once the students were in class, I made an announcement reminding them about the school guidelines (Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, and Be An Ally) and how that should apply to everyone, not just our school, not just our families, not just our communities but to our newly elected leaders.  These are good rules to live by.  I also reminded the students that we are a community here at Oxford, a strong community, and that we need to take care of each other regardless of what is happening in our world.  Several teachers had class meetings to talk and debrief the election, too.  The focus was on creating a safe place to have an opinion, share concerns, and how we move forward.
I ask that we are sensitive to the impact on some of our families of the election outcome, and that there are many different opinions out there, and emotions are running high. I agree that we need to focus on our community, coming together and making it stronger.  We may need to provide opportunities for our students to share their thoughts and fears if needed, and every family handles that differently.  We need to respect that.  We are fortunate that we have a strong Oxford community and our amazing students and I am happy to be part of that community.  (Ooh, I love those kids, even when I’m fussin’ at them!)
If you are looking for resources to address the election with your child, here are some links that were shared with the teachers and across BUSD:
What came to me more clearly this morning than ever is that my goal, my vision as the school principal is to create and support a school that educates children to make thoughtful and informed decisions and life choices, gives them options, so they can create a strong community, for themselves and their community.
So, thank you for sharing your children with us.  Thank you for being thoughtful and committed to make Oxford a great place.  Thank you for all your support.
Beth Rhine

Longfellow, Berkeley

November 17, 2016

Sharing this event with all of you in the Cragmont community.  Cragmont and BUSD will remain safe spaces for all.



The BUSD Office of Family Engagement and Equity in collaboration with the East Bay Sanctuary Convenant and the East Bay Community Law Center are hosting a forum on immigration rights for our immigrant community.

There will be a presentation by immigration attorney Mark Silverman focusing on the constitutional rights of immigrants in the US. Afterward, participants at the forum will have the opportunity to meet with an immigration attorney or trained volunteer for a 15 minute consultation aimed at helping identify potential immigration remedies.

Below is background information about the presenter and community based organizations.

Mark Silverman is a Senior Staff Attorney based in San Francisco and has been with the ILRC since 1983. Mark has collaborated with immigrant-based community groups, especially those engaged in bringing about more just immigration policies, including family unity, legalization, TPS, NACARA, and drivers’ licenses. He has conducted over 400 presentations and trainings for immigrant communities throughout California and is frequently interviewed by Spanish media. Mark has also participated as a trainer on various aspects of the law to attorneys and other legal workers.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) 

The ILRC seeks to improve immigration law and policy, expand the capacity of legal service providers, and advance immigrant rights.

​The East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (EBSC) provides sanctuary–support, protection, and advocacy–to low-income and indigent refugees and immigrants. EBSC’s work primarily consists of two programs: the Refugee Rights Program and the Community Development and Education program. The goal of our educational programs is to educate our clients and to assist them in advocating for their own rights. Manuel De Paz, director of our Community Development and Education program (CDE), organizes leadership workshops, free informational workshops on a variety of topics, and provides referrals for housing, jobs and education.

EBCLC follows a Social Indicators of Justice framework that seeks to address the underlying causes of poverty and economic and racial inequality in order to increase justice and improve opportunities in the areas of economic security, educationhealth and welfarehousing, and immigration.

Carol Finis Perez

Family Engagement and Equity Specialist

Oxford and Washington Elementary Schools


We Are Here For You!

The mission of the Office of Family Engagement and Equity is rooted in the belief that family engagement is any way that an adult caregiver contributes to or supports a child’s learning. We build partnership between families, school staff, and community providers to promote successful outcomes for our students.