Governor Brown Signs Law to Protect Education of California Students Exiled by Forced Departure of a Parent

October 05, 2017

Students who leave state because of deportation or inmate transfer can fall years behind in school

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 257, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), which protects the education of California students exiled out of state because of the forced departure of a parent.

SB 257 requires school districts to admit California students whose parents departed California against his or her will, most often by deportation.

An estimated 500,000 U.S.-born students moved to Mexico since 2005, often because of the deportation of a parent. When parents are deported, they often take their children with them so as to not break up the family. Students who have grown up as Americans may not speak Spanish or may have problems enrolling in Mexican schools and other public programs.

“Our nation’s broken immigration laws are creating a lost generation of exiled children who left the country when their parents were deported and struggle with an unfamiliar culture and language,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “Many of these exiled students will return to the U.S. someday, years behind other students. We owe it to their future and to our state to make sure they can continue their education in California schools if they are able.”

SB 257 also applies to children of inmates who may have moved to stay closer to a parent transferred out of state because of prison overcrowding.

An unknown number of students living near the U.S. border cross make the cross-border trip to attend school in California. SB 257 requires K-12 school districts to admit students in these situations if they can prove that they had attended school in California immediately before the forced departure of their parents.