Publication Date: August 6, 2021
Millions of students of noncitizen status or with undocumented family members experience financial, cultural, and socioemotional hardships that can result in profoundly adverse effects upon their academic performances and emotional well-being. In turn, teachers, counselors, and school leaders have deep concerns about the impact of immigration law on their students’ lives both within and outside of school. This book answers many questions that educators have asked of the author, who is a former teacher and legal advocate for ELL families, including the differences among immigrant, refugee, green card, and undocumented students; the right of a school to deny immigration officers entry to the building; and the ways that teachers and school leaders can connect families to services that could improve their students’ lives. The author also clears up misconceptions and provides useful information on the specific challenges, dangers, and benefits of each noncitizen category and their impacts on students. He notes protections provided by law, even for the undocumented, with classroom scenarios that bring student issues to life. This essential resource clarifies the law in plain, accessible language with practical suggestions on agencies and resources that schools can access, or direct families to, for advocacy and other supports. It is truly a resource that belongs in every school.
Greg Cunningham, a former middle school teacher with a degree in teaching ELL, is a conference speaker, school consultant, and frequent guest speaker in schools of education. He is a senior paralegal with the immigration law firm of Quiroga Law Office, PLLC, in Washington State.