South Bay educators vow to protect DACA students - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

South Bay educators vow to protect DACA students

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NATIONAL CITY (NEWS 8) - As the fallout continues over President Trump's decision to end the program that protects young dreamers from deportation, educators in the South Bay came together to come up with a plan to protect immigrant students and their families.

Following up on January's "Safe Haven" forum, the South County Teachers United held a civic academy on Wednesday, just after Trump announced plans to end the DACA program.

A family of students who had their undocumented parents arrested by immigration officials right before their eyes in May say they are appreciative of the effort being made by teachers. Forced to adjust to life without their mother and father, while also living in fear of being deported themselves, the Duarte family said that their respective campuses have been behind them throughout the entire process.

Francisco, the 19-year-old head of the Duarte household said that on the day his parents were taken away in handcuffs, he walked his 12-year-old twin sisters to school because he knew that’s where they would be safe.

“The best thing they could have done was go to school and find help there because their teachers --they are really good friends and their teachers have always been good them,” Francisco said.

The younger Luis said the support he received at Sweetwater High School amid his family crisis is partly to credit for his 1260 SAT score.

“My teachers did make me feel safe and so did my principal,” Luis said. “[They said] that we were going to be OK, that they weren't going to let anything bad happen to us at school."

Fears shared by the Duarte children and thousands of other students across the region have led districts to sign a so-called “Safe Haven” resolution, vowing to continue to educate children regardless of documentation status.

South county teachers will now go back to their schools and start an "Ask" campaign on how they can act on proposed safe zones. The union says it will assist.

The Duarte's mother has been released but their father is still in ICE custody.

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