Giving Compass' Take:

• Educators can utilize trauma-informed practices to help support vulnerable populations such as undocumented students and their families during the pandemic. 

• What other student populations need support from educators? Where can donors step in?

• Read more on supporting immigrant communities during COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the vast inequities experienced by immigrant families across our nation. As educators and schools take on a new world of schooling in the time of COVID-19, they must center their response on the needs and resilience of the communities they serve. Research indicates that students’ physiological and safety needs must be met before any learning can happen, a reality intensified by the current pandemic.

Undocumented families need their support now more than ever as they are currently unable to access federal relief programs and may be fearful of accessing healthcare due to their status. Educators and schools across the nation have a responsibility to serve, protect and support our undocumented students and families in this time of crisis.

Now that schools are temporarily closed and virtual learning has begun, undocumented students and families are relying on the trusting relationships they have developed with educators. My organization, ImmSchools, an immigrant-led nonprofit working in the intersection of immigration and education in K-12 schools, is urging educators to adopt the following practices in support of our undocumented community.

To help with this, they can gather resources from organizations like Teaching Tolerance who compiled trauma-informed practices to adopt during COVID-19.Other practices include addressing and discussing the rise in hate crimes against those of Asian descent and developing a sense of safety through touchpoints with students and families.

  • Stay informed
  • Share resources with families in multiple languages
  • Implement immigrant-friendly policies
  • Inform families about their health care rights
  • Advocate and support
  • Recognize their resilience and power

Read the full article about undocumented students and families by Vanessa Luna at The 74.