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Trailblazing a path to citizenship

El Paso Independent School District Trustee Susie Byrd was aware of Border Patrol agents that once stopped students and teachers near Bowie High School located across the border from Mexico. She also knew of a past cheating scheme in the district that denied immigration students their educational rights by forcing them out of the district or stopping them from enrolling.

For the EPISD trustee, the vows by President-elect Donald Trump’s to end temporary protected status to “Dreamers” only added to the necessity and urgency of taking action.

Support, Safety And Peace Of Mind For DREAMers

On December 20, Byrd and her fellow El Paso Independent School District trustees reaffirmed their support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for young people brought into the country illegally as children.

EPSID joined the growing nationwide movement encouraging the federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform, Specifically, they want a path to citizenship for DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants.

The resolution cited the destruction of families and negative effects on regional and national economies by deporting young people brought into the country illegally as children. However, unlike college universities and cities designating themselves as sanctuaries, the board stopped short of defying federal authorities.

El Paso Independent School District general counsel Jeanne Cezanne “Cezy” Collins saw the board’s resolution as a starting point and philosophical statement, not a directive for district officials to act.

The district is no stranger to trailblazing. In 1955, the EPISD trustees became the first Texas school district to desegregate after the U.S. Supreme Court’s famed ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education regarding “separate but equal.”

The dream for DREAMers may not be so impossible.

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