Making Schools Safer for Undocumented Students
The Washington State Legislature will consider a bill to make schools safer for its students who are undocumented. Known in the Washington State Senate as SB 5834, and in the House as HB 1779, the bill would require school districts to enact policy that protects undocumented students from immigration enforcement.
SB 5834 builds on existing federal legislation, Plyler v. Doe, that guaranteed equal access to education for all children, regardless of immigration status. The text of the bill reads, "It is important for Washington state to protect its immigrant students and ensure that they have every opportunity to continue their education without fear or undue risk." (
Among other things, SB 5834 calls for every school district to:
1) "Provide information to the parents and guardians of enrolled students regarding students' rights to a free public education, regardless of immigration status or religious belief;."
2) The information must be provided in the parents' language;
3) Schools can not collect information about immigration status from children or their families (unless specifically required to do so by law);
4) Immigration officers seeking information must speak to the Superintendent or a designated representative; that information will only be provided if the officers can present a judicial warrant.
The bill is sponsored by State Senators Hunt, Wellman, Randall, Pederson, Wilson, Salomon, Frockt, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Nguyen and Saldaña.
For more information:
Also: learn about our Education Workgroup whose research and advocacy have contributed to this bill. Find a description of their work at; https://www.strengtheningsanctuaryalliance.org/work-groups