By Jessica Silver-Sharp, San Mateo Community College
Federation of Teachers
When I first wrote about undocumented students in October 2017, I
couldn’t have foreseen how things could change so much in less
than three years. Two out of three of our campus Dream Centers in
the San Mateo Community College District were established during
this time when young “Dreamers” were forming a national youth
movement and “coming out” across the country. Then, a majority of
the hundreds of undocumented students on campus enjoyed legal
protections under DACA.
The CFT and AFT join other progressive groups in condemning the
ICE raids in Mississippi – the largest immigrations raids waged
in a single state. Immigration and Customs Enforcement swept up
nearly 700 undocumented workers from several food processing
plants last week, leaving as many families scrambling for
The plant workers of Koch Foods in Mississippi were union members
of the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1529.
Four days before President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action
for Childhood Arrivals program, Sarah, a young student who
commutes an hour each way to attend classes, emailed me that she
was dropping my class.
She believed the impending end of DACA meant she would lose her
source of income, her DACA driver’s license, and access to
financial aid. She was also afraid she and her family would be
deported. Her fears were real, however the information she
received was incorrect.
It’s not the work of a few vigilantes when Immigration Customs
Enforcement agents target students, said Laura Flores of the
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation — it’s becoming the
law of the land.
Friday, Cesar Chavez Day, the first day of the CFT Convention,
Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation promised the
delegates that he will make sure other unions — the plumbers,
carpenters, and building trades — back up the CFT in their fight
against charter schools and privatization. Then he got them fired
up for the march in support of immigrant rights.
Since Donald Trump was elected president, it has become clear:
It’s a new day for educators, their unions, students and
communities. California Teacher asked the presidents of four
local unions from different regions of the state to voice their