ACLU of California Statement on Riverside Unified Sanctuary Policy
Riverside — On Monday night, the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Board of Education unanimously approved a campus sanctuary policy. The new board policy expands upon a prior resolution declaring the district and all campuses as Safe Learning Zones for all students, staff, and families.
The following are statements from the ACLU of California.
Linnea Nelson, education equity staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California.
We applaud the Riverside Unified School District’s action to counteract immigration enforcement in its schools. The District has shown its leadership in California by taking concrete steps to welcome all students, regardless of their immigration status. We call on the district to further strengthen those protections by extending it to law enforcement activity that does not have a school-related purpose. In this era of greatly-expanded immigration enforcement, student information gathered by police in the schools may inadvertently be shared with federal agencies, with potentially devastating consequences for immigrant students and their families.
Hannah Comstock, Loyola Law School Postgraduate Public Interest Fellow at the ACLU of Southern California.
The presence of immigration agents is disruptive to the learning environment and flies in the face of children’s right to equal educational opportunity as guaranteed by the U.S. and California Constitutions. We encourage the district to take the next important step in protecting its students by closing this loophole and ensuring that all law enforcement agencies operating in its schools adequately protect students’ personal information from unintentional disclosure to federal immigration agencies. School districts have a duty to protect students from harassment and ensure they feel safe.