March 3, 2017Statement
UTLA condemns in the strongest possible language the ICE seizures happening across the country, including those this week of two fathers who have lived in our community for decades.
This is a deliberate tactic being deployed by the Trump administration to spread fear and prevent the most vulnerable among us from accessing basic social services, such as education and medical care. In the local cases this week, Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was arrested just one block from his daughter’s charter school in Highland Park, and Amado Escobedo was seized as he was preparing to take his children to school.
Seizing parents on their way to or from dropping off their children at school will lead to students staying home, disrupting their education and negatively impacting our learning communities. Documented or not, all children have the right to a public education free from fear and intimidation. Charter or not, all schools should be safe zones, not just for the students and employees within the schoolhouse doors, but for the parents and local community members who have a right to knock on that schoolhouse door as well. It’s wrong to target a student’s family, whether in school, on their way to school, or coming home from school.
UTLA will continue to work with parents and community groups to spread resources on immigrants’ rights and to stand united in the face of these unconscionable seizures, detentions, and deportations.
UTLA, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union local, represents more than 35,000 teachers and health & human services professionals who work in the Los Angeles Unified School District and in charter schools.