Return to Headlines

REACH Academy is a Sanctuary School

Oakland is a sanctuary city, OUSD is a sanctuary district and REACH Academy is a sanctuary school. This means that we do not ask for or require proof of legal immigration status upon enrollment, nor is any such information gathered by a school. On November 29, the City of Oakland will be renewing its resolution as a City of Refuge and on November 30th, the OUSD Board of Education will be renewing a similar resolution, affirming our commitment to doing everything possible to ensure students are safe at school regardless of immigration status.

Over the next few weeks, OUSD will be partnering with Centro Legal de la Raza, a legal services non-profit agency in Oakland, and other organizations to hold school forums where students and families can participate in Know Your Rights presentations. Information on these presentations may be found below along with other resources.



Can undocumented children continue to attend school in Oakland?

  • Yes. Every child has a right to a public school education, without regard to his/her immigration status, and OUSD will continue to serve all of our students and families, as we always have. Additionally, Oakland is a Sanctuary City, and OUSD does not require proof of legal immigration status to enroll or attend school.

What will happen to my family under President Trump?

  • Many families are fearful and feel a sense of urgency. Trump has made several campaign promises, but we do not yet know which statements he will follow through on. Moreover, some of the promises Trump made during his campaign require congressional approval and cannot be carried out through unilateral executive action. As we learn more in the coming months, OUSD will circulate updated information and resources for assistance.


What can I do to help my situation?

  • As of now, the highest priority for deportation includes those with a criminal record and previous immigration offenses (like outstanding orders of deportation.) To mitigate certain potential immigration consequences, students and families should do their best to: remain calm; follow the law; and continue to make their court appearances and Intensive Supervision Appearance Program or ISAP appointments, should they have any.

I have DACA. What should I do?

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is based on an order by the president. The new president could choose to rescind that order. If you are a recipient of DACA, consider reaching out to an immigration attorney to determine your best course of action moving forward. If you are eligible for DACA and are considering enrolling in the program for the first time, you should not do so without speaking with an immigration attorney.  Click here for information on upcoming legal consultations in Oakland. For your own protection, please do not seek the advice of notarios or others who are not licensed or experienced immigration attorneys.


I arrived from Central America in the last 3 years and have been placed in deportation proceedings. What does Trump’s election mean for me?

  • Students and families who are already in proceedings will continue to fight their deportations in immigration court.  The San Francisco Immigration Court has an Attorney of the Day program, where private and non-profit attorneys donate their time to represent those in court without legal counsel.  There are also legal resources within Oakland for free representation. If you are in proceedings and do not yet have an attorney, please contact Ariana Flores for information for an upcoming legal consultation.


I have legal immigration status but am not a citizen. Should I be worried about deportation?

  • We encourage students and families to seek the counsel of an immigration attorney about the best way forward regarding their individual situations. Immigration law is very complicated and every person should seek the guidance of an attorney, should they have questions about personal immigration matters. Generally speaking, permanent residents, refugees, asylees, U visa recipients, and children with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status should not see their status change under a Trump presidency. As always, new criminal convictions may impact immigration status so it is critical that all laws be obeyed and that if you do have a criminal incident, you speak with an immigration attorney as soon as possible.


What does OUSD do to ensure that no student or family is discriminated against or harassed because of their race, ethnicity, religion or national origin?

  • OUSD believes deeply in ensuring equity – it is one of our core values. We have policies in place that mandate no discrimination or harassment of our students, families or employees on the base of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin and many other protected classes.
  • Members of our school communities across the city are taking steps to promote dialogue and inclusion after recent events.  This article from the East Bay Times highlights some of this work.  Please reach out to your school’s Restorative Justice facilitator, COST team, and/or site administration to engage around strengthening our inclusive school communities.

What should I do if I feel like I have been the victim of discrimination or harassment?

  • Please report the behavior immediately to a supervisor, school leader or to the superintendent. Complaints and concerns can be filed using OUSD’s universal complaint process. We take these complaints very seriously in order to assure that our schools continue to be safe spaces.


What should I do in the event that I come in contact with ICE?

  • If you are undocumented, have a pending immigration case in court, or are being questioned about a person in such a situation,  you should give your true and correct name but should not answer any other questions. You do not have to open the door for an immigration agent unless they slip an arrest warrant that has your name or is signed by a judge or magistrate under the door.  If you are detained, you will be allowed to make a phone call so you should have a number to call memorized.  For more information, you should attend an upcoming Know Your Rights training sponsored by OUSD and El Centro Legal de la Raza. Details are listed above.