Immigration FAQs

Dear STEM Prep Community,

As an organization focused on disrupting the status quo for students of color in Los Angeles, we believe it is our responsibility to facilitate inclusive and safe environments for students and families of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Despite the fact that recent events have revealed how troubled and divided we are as a nation, STEM Prep remains more committed than ever to ensuring our schools enforce the values of respect and dignity for all. We understand the fear and outrage generated by the public discussions about immigration, race, class and many other topics have left many questioning the accessibility of the American dream for all.

At STEM Preparatory Schools, we serve all students. Our schools are places where students should feel safe and supported, and we will continue to ensure the following:

  • We will not collect information related to student and family immigration status.
  • Our staff will protect our students’ privacy rights to the greatest extent of the law.
  • We will work with staff and families to ensure they have the information and the resources they need to address concerns or questions about immigration policies.
  • We are dedicated to equity and access for all and firmly believe in creating schools where all voices are honored and valued.
  • We will remain committed to following our non-discrimination policy as well as our policies that prevent harassment or bullying of any kind.

Thank you for all you do to set our students up for success. Working as a community, we can continue to execute on our mission to prepare students for success in STEM fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that there are many questions regarding immigration and our commitment to protect students from discrimination and harassment. We hope that the following will answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: What impact does undocumented immigration status have on my child’s education
A: None. The United States Supreme Court has interpreted the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to provide a right of equal access to education to children regardless of their immigration status or their parents’ immigration status.

Q: Does STEM Prep ask for a child’s immigration status when he or she enrolls?
A: No. Because of a child’s right to equal access to education, STEM Prep enrolls students regardless of their immigration status or any other protected classification.

Q: Would STEM Prep ever share its students’ immigration status with federal immigration officials?
A: STEM Prep protects its students’ privacy rights to the greatest extent allowed by law.  Because STEM Prep does not ask for students’ immigration status when they enroll, staff should not be aware of students’ immigration status, nor are they permitted to share any private student information.

Q: What does STEM Prep do to ensure that no student or family is discriminated against or harassed because of their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin or other protected classification?
A: STEM Prep believes deeply in ensuring equity and in providing safe learning environments. STEM Prep enforces its policies that mandate no discrimination or harassment for our students, families, or employees on the base of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin and any other protected classification. STEM Prep also has procedures in place to address any alleged violation of these non-discrimination policies.

Q: What should I do if I feel like I have been the victim of discrimination or harassment
A: Please report the behavior immediately to a supervisor or school leader. Complaints and concerns can be filed using the Uniform Complaint Procedures in the Student Policy Manual. We take these complaints very seriously to assure that our schools continue to provide equitable education and safe spaces for learning.

Q: What should I do if I want to understand my immigration rights?
A: Only immigration attorneys can provide you with accurate advice about immigration status and how you can pursue any legal rights you might have. For your own protection, please do not seek the advice of notaries or others who are not licensed immigration attorneys. A list of available resources can be found below. Also, you can seek an immigration attorney from the American Immigration Lawyers Association here.

Q: What if I am a DACA recipient?
A: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is based on an order by President Obama. On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the current administration announced the repeal of DACA, which will happen slowly over the next six months. As a result: 

  • The administration will not consider new applications for legal status dated after Sept. 5, 2017. Applications filed before Tuesday that are pending will continue to be processed.
  • Anyone who has a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018, can apply for a two-year renewal. That application must be submitted by Oct. 5, 2017.
  • Some Dreamers, those with permits that expire between now and March 5, 2018, will be eligible for legal status for another two-plus years. For others, legal status ends as early as March 6, 2018.

If you are a recipient of DACA, consider reaching out to an immigration attorney now to determine if you have access to a better form of immigration status. Additional information can be found here and below.

  • If you have not done so already, apply for a Social Security Number while your DACA and work permit are still valid.
    • Your social security number is a valid number for life, even once your work permit and DACA approval expires.
    • You can and should continue to use the SSN you got under DACA as your SSN even after your work permit expires.
    • You can use your SSN for education, banking, housing and other purposes.
  • If you have not done so already, apply for a driver’s license or state identification card if your DACA is still valid.
  • Work permits, or Employment Authorization Documents, are generally valid until they expire or the government demands they are returned. If DACA ends but you are allowed to keep your work permit, you have the right to work legally until your work permit expires.
  • For more information about your rights as an employee see this advisory by the National Immigration Law Center
  • Know Your Rights – both documented and undocumented people have rights. At all times, carry a red card to exercise your right to remain silent in case you are stopped or questioned by ICE.

Support a legislative fix to a legalize DACA: