In announcing the future of the DACA program two weeks ago, President Trump seemed to fulfill a campaign promise to end a program he once declared unconstitutional. But later on the same day, the president seemed to call for a permanent legislative solution, tweeting, “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!”
The nuance was lost on many Obama-haters. They celebrated the president. But it was also lost on Trump-haters, including public education officials and union leaders in California. They’ve used President Trump’s non-decision as an opportunity to rally their faithful by terrorizing undocumented families in the state.
Within a week of the announcement, closer to home, the board of the Santa Ana Unified School District voted to condemn the president’s move — or rather “non-move,” if you like. The resolution claimed “great uncertainty exists amongst students about what specific immigration policies will be pursued by the federal government, and immigrants and other populations within the SAUSD community are fearful of policies that may result in deportation or forced registration based on immigration status, religion or beliefs.”
I was the sole vote against the resolution, in part because we already passed a resolution in December 2016 asking congress to act on an immigration reform and especially because the “uncertainty” it highlights has been caused by the very people behind the resolution. They are the cause and cure, apparently, of communal anxiety.
But I also voted against the resolution because I see it for what it really is: a tactic to transform Washington politics into local anxiety. Panic is useful for teacher’s union leaders and school officials who hope to distract us from the real issue — their failure to educate Santa Ana’s children.
Their failure is documented in state tests that show a majority of our school children cannot read or perform math at grade level. Despite that undeniable evidence, SAUSD graduates these students from high school even though they’re unprepared for college or career. That’s a fraud.
Instead of correcting this social injustice, my fellow board members voted last week to condemn the president. That same night, teachers union leaders took their three minutes at the public-comments dais to condemn me for documenting the catastrophic, decades-long slide in student…