Thursday, May 27, 2021

Open Letter to Biden from Border Communities

 An Open Letter from Border Communities

Executive Summary

The announcement of the no-bid contract being awarded to Endeavors, Inc. to provide short-term temporary shelter was a shocking surprise to Arizona border communities, particularly to those community organizations providing shelter and supporting asylum seekers released from temporary and long-term detention for the past ten years.  This decision not only shows a lack of transparency and blatant disregard for the well supported and ongoing community work for asylum seekers,but undercuts those efforts in favor of a model that perpetuates the militarization and criminalization of asylum seekers and their families. Not only is this approach in opposition to the promises made by the Biden Administration prior to the elections, but it indicates disregard for the rights of all asylum seekers seeking legal due process at the SW border and an astounding lack of understanding and awareness of the community support networks created by receiving border communities.

The issues facing asylum seekers at the US SW Border are not new, nor did they arise only under the last Administration. Current U.S. short-term border detention policies perpetuate inequitable treatment and blatantly violate international standards of human rights. These policies continue to place asylum seekers and refugees in vulnerable situations, often without a clear process for obtaining relief in a timely and reasonable amount of time. 

Issues raised in this briefing paper,  published as an open letter to the nation and internationally, which seeks transparency and the reassertion of human rights standards can be distilled into a few main areas:

  • Issues with temporary and long-term detention - which include language rights, Indigenous asylum seekers, separation of families, psychological and traumatic effects of prolonged short and long-term detention, inadequate medical attention, inadequate food, confiscation of documents, due process and rights of asylum seekers, and the deaths of Indigenous children and youth that have died at a disproportionate rate in US/CBP/BP custody.

  • Lack of transparency and community involvement - including several specific concerns about Family Endeavors, Inc., an organization that was unknown to local and border communities prior to their being awarded $86 million dollars for a 6.5-month contract.

  • Concerns about the Contract itself - including the lack of consultation with the communities in which these “hotels” will be located and the irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars for a no-bid contract for $86 million dollars for a 6.5 month contract with Family Endeavors, Inc. to provide housing to only 1,239 individuals. 

  • Additional concerns that include safety and transparency concerns, accountability questions/concerns about oversight, training and transparency, clarity about the legal status of individuals being housed, transparency in Funding, and most importantly, the lack of community involvement

Local Arizona communities for over a decade  come together to address the temporary needs of asylum seekers who have been released from DHS custody. They have served as established shelters and spaces that offer temporary housing, food, medical attention, clothing, assistance with travel arrangements to safely get to the homes of their sponsors, language identification and interpretation, and trauma/psycho-social support when needed. Sponsors, who are often relatives of the asylum seeker, have taken responsibility for asylum seekers. They are responsible for housing, feeding and ensuring that all appointed court appointments are attended. This support has continued through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing COVID testing and when needed, quarantine, plus  follow-up medical attention when needed. 

Given the concerns detailed above and the strong network of existing community organizations, we submit the following demands:

Our Demands 


  1. We demand that the Biden Administration Immediately halt the contract established with Family Endeavors, Inc.

  2. We demand full disclosure of the contract with Family Endeavors, Inc. and all related agencies party to the contract under the supervision of the Department of Homeland Security (BP, CBP, ICE, USCIS, FEMA, etc.) including a full description of the duties and role of each related agency

  3. We demand that ICE make public any contracting documents that state services contracted for emergency family relief shelters, and all  expectations, requirements, and performance metrics.  required. 

  4. We demand that any contracted shelter implement robust protocols to ensure basic human rights and human needs are fulfilled including for vulnerable populations of Indigenous language speakers, unaccompanied children, women, and LGBTQ immigrants. 

  5. We demand transparency to the public about the process of selecting Family Endeavors, Inc. for the fulfillment of this identified need. 

Asylum and Due Process

  1. We demand a comprehensive, transparent and public process be in place to ensure that all asylum-seekers and/or refugee community members are adequately cared for and served as per the UN 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol internationally acceptable standards in all DHS administered or contracted facilities.   

  2. We demand lawyers have unfettered access to all individuals who are detained in contracted facilities.

  3. We demand that the Biden administration end the enforcement of Title 42 and honor our obligations under international human rights laws and federal regulations that require immigration officials to protect against refoulement by properly processing noncitizens seeking asylum in the U.S. or asserting a fear of return. By law, asylum seekers who have entered the U.S. or arrived at any U.S. port-of-entry must be provided with due process and meaningful opportunities to assert their fears and claims to asylum officers as required by regulation. The fundamental right to life of these asylum seekers cannot be ignored, deferred, or overridden. Disallowing Central American and Mexican asylum seekers at the  Arizona border currently while allowing positive asylum applications for Venezuelans, Cubans,  and Brazilians, appears to be using the asylum system for foreigh policy ends.  There is no exception for avoiding our obligations under binding law and regulations. 

Rights of Indigeneous Peoples

  1. We demand U.S. immigration officials cease and desist from practices and patterns of infringements on the rights of Indigenous migrants. Indigenous migrants do not cede their rights to sovereignty and self-determination protected by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP 2007), and fully implement Executive Order 13166 with full funding to ensure language justice. 

  2. U.S. immigration officials must consult with Indigenous migrants and leadership, and adopt policies and procedures that observe the unique rights and claims of Indigenous migrants under UN DRIP 2007, and train for,  and require all immmigration officials observe, special procedures to protect the unique rights of Indigneous migrants, including reunification of Indigenous children with family members or sponsors willing to provide humanitarian aid.

Local Community Consultation for Provision of Shelter

  1. We remember the 287-G contracts started under the George W. Bush Administration, and then  extended under the Obama Administration that targeted immigrant communities in the border zone and reject any attempt to reinstate them.   

  2. We demand consultation with local receiving communities which have been doing the work and have already created an alternative to the further militarization of (im)migrant communities.

  3. We demand our tax dollars as a part of federal  funding be allotted to support and ensure that existing community networks are able to continue our work in a community model that departs from the existing framework of border militarization and mass detention. We demand a process that truly supports and promotes healing for the vulnerable (im)migrant and asylum-seeking individuals and families who have sought the refuge our policies deny but claim to ensure.


Versión en Español (Spanish version): 

antiracismdsa: Farmworker Modernization - Immigration Issues

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Equity-Driven Practices and Lessons Learned from 2020 Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan


How Districts Planned for

Pandemic Learning:

Equity-Driven Practices and Lessons

Learned from 2020 Learning

Continuity and Attendance Plans

May 2021

A Report by:

Californians Together, Children Now,

National Center for Youth Law, and Public Advocates



a. English Learners

Trends: In meeting the needs of English learners, LEAs are required to provide English learners with

designated and integrated English language development (“ELD” ). While almost all LEAs mentioned ELD,

they lacked specific strategies about how this would be provided. For example, Learning Continuity Plans

did not typically include details about: any guaranteed synchronous instructional time for ELD that would

be provided for English learners; how professional development for all educators would incorporate

ELD strategies (for both teachers of English learners and teachers in other subjects); monitoring of

progress and assessments with specific interventions for the different typologies of English learners;

and instructional materials that would be provided to suppor t language development. While most LEAs

mentioned one or two of these specific areas, it is impor tant that LEAs plan for all of these strategies in

order for English learners to have access to the education that they deserve.

Moreover, when additional learning time or in-person learning was mentioned, most LEAs did not explicitly

discuss if English learners would be prioritized for these oppor tunities, raising serious equity concerns

for these students.

Practices: There were several promising practices wor th highlighting.

Mendota Unified assigned specific counselors to newcomer students at the

secondary level to provide a more personalized introduction to the district

and academic counseling.

See SCUSD Fails it English Learners in the post below. 

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FEATURE: Why we need international union solidarity now more than ever | IndustriALL: A world in crisis needs a pathway to a better future. Unions can provide it.

Monday, May 10, 2021

CRUZ Reynoso : A Leader in Civil Rights Law


Cruz Reynoso, the son of migrant farmworkers who became a giant of civil rights law and was the first Latino justice of the California Supreme Court, died on Friday with his members of his large family at his side. 

Reynoso was 90 and had been in hospice care in Oroville recently. A cause of death was not disclosed.

A fixture for years at the UC Davis School of Law, Reynoso was vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and, Cruz Reynoso, photographed at his Herald, Calif., home with his Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000. The giant of civil rights law who was the first Latino justice of the California Supreme Court, died Friday, May 7, 2021, at the age of 90. see

Reynoso never did forget that he was born in the Orange County city of Brea and was one of 11 children. As a boy, Reynoso worked the harvest fields throughout California to help his humble family earn money. That formative experience motivated him to study hard and pursue an education that would liberate him from the fields and move him to represent poor people who needed legal help.

Reynoso’s first college experiences were emblematic for a young man of his station in life. He attended Fullerton Community College and Pomona College. Reynoso left California and served in the Army. He got married to his first wife, Jeannene. He returned to California and graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law. He moved to El Centro, Imperial County, and built a legal career representing clients from families of modest means, much like his family.

Reynoso rose to be the director of California Rural Legal Assistance, a nonprofit founded in 1966. Its mission, as stated on the CRLA website, was “to help rural communities because those communities were not receiving legal help.” CRLA still provides free legal services to farmworkers.

During those heady years in California history in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Reynoso played a vital role in the movement to uplift the poorest workers in California, mostly farmworkers from Mexico like Reynoso’s parents. At the same time, Reynoso was running CRLA, Cesar Chavez was garnering national attention as a labor leader gaining rights for farmworkers and bringing attention to their plight.

Although they each had their role to play and had different missions, both Reynoso and Chavez found themselves at odds with then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan, who was aligned with business and agricultural interests. 

Reagan tried many times to defund CRLA but the organization endured. One of the biggest cases won by CRLA while Reynoso was its director was the 1970 case of case Diana vs. California State Board of Education.

It centered on Latino children who were incorrectly assessed by their school and labeled mentally challenged. The pupils were funneled into special education classes when, in reality, they were simply new English learners. CRLA lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of students in the Monterey County town of Soledad.

“CRLA won a consent decree that allowed non-Anglo children to choose the language in which they would respond on IQ tests,” wrote the Salinas Californian in 2016. “It banned verbal sections of the test. It also required state psychologists to develop an IQ test appropriate for Mexican Americans and other non-English-speaking students.”

This time in Reynoso’s career was depicted in the 2011 documentary, “Sowing the Seeds of Justice.” After leaving CRLA in 1972, Reynoso taught law before he was appointed to the state’s 3rd District Appellate Court in Sacramento. In 1982, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Reynoso to the state Supreme Court, the first Latino to ever be named to the state’s high bench.

Reynoso was considered a thoughtful jurist but became embroiled in a political controversy that ultimately ended in his removal in 1987. In a sign of how much politics have changed in California, proponents of the death penalty painted Reynoso, Chief Justice Rose Bird, and Associate Justice Joseph Grodin as being soft on crime. The three were recalled by voters.

De Alba said Reynoso became a mentor to many of Sacramento’s and California’s leading legal figures. “Justice Reynoso was a dear friend, mentor, and model public servant because of his humility, empathy, compassion, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law,” said Luis Cespedes, a Sacramento lawyer who was recently named Judicial Appointments Secretary by Gov Gavin Newsom.

“Cruz was an exceptional human being, a civil rights attorney and first Latino to sit on the California Supreme Court,” said Melinda Guzman, a prominent Sacramento lawyer and former trustee of the California State University system. “Above all he was a family man, a man of integrity and ethics and he used his voice to empower all in need. He was so supportive of my legal career and family. I loved this man who earned his angel wings on Earth for all he did.”

After his recall, Reynoso became a professor emeritus at UC Davis School of Law, living in Herald, the community east of Galt, with Jeannene until she died in 2007. He married Elaine Rowan in 2008, who died in 2017. 

Memorial arrangements are pending. In his 2007 interview with The Bee, Reynoso described his philosophy of life: ““In fighting the battles, you may end up losing most of them,” Reynoso said. “But if you don’t fight, you lose them all.”

Read more here:







Whereas Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso has a lifetime distinguished record of providing legal and community services to the people of California; and 


Whereas Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso’s service to the California Supreme Court and the judicial branch in general is a significant contribution to the people of California; and


Whereas Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso has championed the civil rights causes of Latinos, the poor, and other minority groups, with distinction; and 


Whereas Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso has significantly improved the quality of life of ALL citizens within our great State of California and the United States of America; and


Whereas Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso continues to lead the Latino community regarding the need to participate in civic engagement activities, including voter registration and get-out-to vote; and 


Whereas, on February 1, 2016, the general membership of the League of United Latin American Citizens Lorenzo Patiño Council #2862 (LULAC Council) unanimously voted to vest honorary membership to Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso; 


Be It Resolved that on March 7, 2016, Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso was presented this resolution to officially bestow upon him the title of Honorary Member of the Lorenzo Patiño LULAC Council #2862, consistent with the provisions of Article IV, Section 3, Subdivision (e) of the LULAC Constitution, Bylaws, and Protocol. 


_______________________________   _________________

Luisa Menchaca, President     


_______________________________   _________________

Rachel Godoy, Secretary

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Sacramento City USD Fails English Learners

 The Education Committee of LULAC/Sacramento has recommended for over 4 years that the funds allocated to Sacramento City Unified School District specifically to improve the educational achievement of English Learners be used specifically for that purpose.

( see example below of 2018 submission).  Supplemental funds carried over from one year to the next should not be used for projects other than serving English Language Learners.


We note with interest the presentation to the Special Board meeting of 3.11.21 on LCAP draft materials.

The district is now preparing its LCAP plan ( Local  Control Accountability Plan) and it is time for us to again make recommendations.  Our recommendations for prior years have been ignored. We request that our proposals for this year be included in the report to the board scheduled for May 5, 2021, and that our requests be included in the documents sent to Sacramento County Office of Education for their assigned task of monitoring the development of LCAP proposals on matters of accountability. 


We  note the requirements of LCAP to include community participation in development of the district plan.  We assert the reflections of the district advisory committees are important but inadequate to the requirements of community participation required for the development of LCAP. 


The next presentation will be at the SCUSD Board of Education meeting on May 6, 2021. You can participate on line. 

Education Committee.

League of United Latin American Citizens, / Sacramento 



Legislative summary.  LCFF


Existing law establishes a public school financing system that requires state funding for county superintendents of schools, school districts, and charter schools to be calculated pursuant to a local control funding formula, as specified. Existing law requires funding pursuant to the local control funding formula to include, in addition to a base grant, supplemental and concentration grant add-ons that are based on the percentage of pupils who are English learners, foster youth, or eligible for free or reduced-price meals, as specified, served by the county superintendent of schools, school district, or charter school. Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt regulations that govern the expenditure of funds apportioned pursuant to the supplemental and concentration grant add-ons.


AB 533 Proposal.


This bill would require the State Department of Education to develop, on or before January 1, 2022, a tracking mechanism for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to use to report the types of services on which they spend their supplemental and concentration grant funds. The bill would require each local educational agency, commencing July 1, 2022, to annually report to the department the types of services on which it spends its supplemental and concentration grant funds using the tracking mechanism developed by the department. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.




State Audit of LCFF


State Auditor’s Report  LCFF funding



LCFF require districts to use these funds to increase or improve services for intended student groups, the regulations do not create an effective means of ensuring that districts do so. Districts must identify in their annual local control and accountability plans (LCAPs) the supplemental and concentration funds they expect to receive and spend. LCAPs provide a key opportunity for stakeholders to ensure that districts direct the funds toward the intended student groups. However, districts can treat any supplemental and concentration funds that they do not fully spend in a given year as base funds in the following year, meaning that the districts can use the funds 

for general purposes that do not directly serve intended student groups. Despite this lack of r 


Moreover, even when districts did report supplemental and concentration funds in their LCAPs, we had difficulty determining whether or how the districts’ use of those funds increased or improved services for intended student groups—a difficulty 

that stakeholders likely share. One challenge is that the current requirement districts must meet for spending supplemental
and concentration funds to benefit intended student groups is essentially meaningless. Specifically, a district must describe in its LCAP how it will increase or improve services for those students in proportion to the amount of supplemental and concentration funds it receives. However, it is unclear how a district would demonstrate that it increased or improved services by a proportion, and neither county offices of education nor the California Department of Education are responsible for verifying whether districts actually met the required proportional increases. 

Further, although districts must report in their LCAPs information about the services on which they have spent their supplemental and concentration funds, they often do not effectively analyze whether those services have been successful. As a result, stakeholders may struggle to hold districts accountable for continuing to fund effective services and discontinuing ineffective services. 

To ensure that intended student groups receive the maximum benefit from supplemental and concentration funds, the Legislature should take the following actions: 

  • Amend state law to require districts and other local educational agencies to identify any unspent supplemental and concentration funds by annually reconciling the estimated amounts of
    these funds they include in their LCAPs with the actual amounts of funding the State reports apportioning to them. 
  • Amend state law to specify that unspent supplemental and concentration funds at year‐end must retain their designation to increase and improve services for intended student
    groups and be spent in a following year, and it should require districts and other local educational agencies to identify in their LCAPs the total amounts of any unspent supplemental and concentration funds from the previous year. 



·       As Figure 3 indicates, a number of different state and local entities are involved in overseeing and making decisions related to LCFF funding. For example, local stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, and other interested groups, provide input and oversight to ensure that districts develop clear and informative LCAPs. Stakeholders review and provide comments on a district’s draft LCAP. In addition, they can submit complaints to the district or county office, and appeal to CDE, if they believe a district has violated state law in completing its LCAP. 

·       In most instances, county offices are responsible
for approving LCAPs for the districts within their counties.
Figure 4 depicts the LCAP development and approval process. The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) has developed an LCAP approval manual that county offices can use as a guide during their reviews. A county office must approve a district’s LCAP if the LCAP meets the conditions listed in the text box. If a county office rejects a district’s LCAP, it must provide assistance to that district that focuses on revising the LCAP so that the county office can approve it before October 8 of that year. This date is the deadline for county offices to approve LCAPs. 

 County Office of Education


LCAP Approval Requirements for County Offices 

The county office must approve a district’s LCAP on or before October 8 if it determines all of the following are true: 

·       The district’s LCAP adheres to the LCAP template. 

·       The district’s budget includes expenditures sufficient to implement the services included in the LCAP. 

·       The district’s LCAP adheres to the expenditure requirements for supplemental and concentration funds. 

·       Districts must consult with stakeholders, including parents and teachers, in developing their LCAPs. They must hold public meetings to solicit recommendations from members of the public regarding the services and expenditures in their LCAPs. 



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