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A second Trump Presidency would be a disaster for our country, and cause trauma on steroids for many of our students and their families.

Let’s take a look at what it could mean just for one group – our immigrant students and their families.

Trump and his key supporters have made it very clear that they would:

  • Deport 10 million unauthorized immigrants, initially putting many into camps
  • Get the Plyler decision overturned to eliminate legal requirements that children without documents must be accepted by public schools at no charge.
  • Deport many immigrants allowed to live in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons, including thousands of Afghans.
  • Suspend the refugee program
  • And many other actions, including taking steps to try to end birthright citizenship.

Though we need to do everything possible to stop his election, we, our our schools, also need to make contingency plans on how to respond if he does win.

In that case, schools must take their historical roles as “mediating institutions” (groups that “mediate” between individuals with little power and government and other larger entities).

Schools should:

  • recruit & facilitate lawyers to provide free legal advice and representation to our immigrant families
  • refuse any cooperation with government agencies furthering the Trump agenda
  • connect with other community groups, agencies and institutions who are also resisting a Trump administration’s immigration agenda
  • Expand mental health care to our immigrant families and students experiencing the trauma of a second Trump presidency in these ways.
  • Recognize that a Trump administration would also likely look for ways to ensure that any federally-financed safety net not support these immigrant families, so demand that state and local official step in to fill the gaps.  In addition, organize community efforts to provide direct social assistance.

Obviously, at least some of Trump’s efforts are likely to be delayed or stopped by court action.  However, the is unlikely to lessen the fear experienced by our students and their families.

And that fear will start the day after the election – if Trump wins.  It will not wait to start until after he is inaugurated.

Schools must be ready to have a plan up-and-running the day after the election.

In five months.

And I don’t get the idea that there’s much discussion about this right now.

It needs to start – now.

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