The California School-Based Health Alliance believes in a world where all students have access to health care. We envision a bright and diverse California where every child is honored and celebrated regardless of their immigration status.

We’re proud to work alongside many of you to ensure that all children—not just some—feel safe visiting a SBHC (school-based health center). For many students, SBHCs represent a home away from home. They feel comfortable visiting their SBHC because they know staff can provide high-quality care, support, and guidance.

You can help make your school or SBHC feel even more safe for students by downloading and displaying the full-size poster above. It’s a small way to show your support for the right of all children, regardless of immigration status, to access health care.

Download Our Sanctuary for All Poster


All people in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. While it is our hope that you never have to encounter immigration officials (ICE) in your school or in your school-based health center, it is important to have a plan in place to help reduce the stress of the unexpected; most importantly, to know what steps to take in which case you do. We’ve gathered a number of resources you can use if need be. 

CSHA Resources for Supporting Undocumented Students

Public Charge

On August 12, the Trump administration published the final public charge rule set to take effect on October 15 that makes it harder for immigrants to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States. Federal law allows immigration officials to deny green cards and certain visas to immigrants if authorities decide they would be a “public charge.” The final rule defines public charge as someone “who receives one or more public benefit… for more than 12 months in an aggregate within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month count as two months).” In addition, previously excluded government assistance programs will be used in public charge determinations, including:

  • Medicaid (excludes children under 21 years and pregnant women)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (CalFresh in California)
  • Cash assistance programs (TANF, SSI, state and local assistance programs)
  • Section 8 housing assistance and other federal subsidized housing programs

The rule is facing numerous lawsuits, but, if implemented, it will put millions of children in immigrant communities nationwide at risk. The rule immediately affects a small number of immigrants, but is meant to instill fear among many immigrant families who depend on federally subsidized programs such as health care and food assistance. Parents now fear that receiving these benefits will make it impossible for their children to become permanent residents in the United States. To support children and families, the best thing school-based health providers can do is to provide accurate information to students and patients. 

To learn more about public charge and how you can take action, visit our partners below. Check back for new resources as we follow developments on this rule:

Immigration Policy Updates & Other Resources

  • AB 699 – Effective January 1, 2018, AB 699 requires that all local educational agencies in California implement additional protections to ensure that all students, regardless of immigration status or country of birth, have the opportunity to pursue their education without undue fear or risk. To learn more about AB 699, read this overview from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
  • Guidelines from Attorney General on Immigration, April 2018 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued new guidance to help California’s public K-12 schools and other local educational agencies develop policies to protect the rights of undocumented students and their families. The guide is designed to help schools better understand protections that safeguard the privacy of undocumented students and their families, and to serve as a model for local school districts.
  • Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s Red Cards – Red cards help people assert their rights and defend themselves in many situations, such as when ICE agents go to a home or school.  You can place an order here.
  • Clean Dream Act – The National Immigration Law Center and UndocuBlack Network released a one-pager on what a clean Dream Act is and what it’d do for immigrant families if passed. 
    • Visit United We Dream website to get daily updates and learn more about how you can engage to get this act passed. 
  • Resources for SBHCs to support Undocumented Students – This module is a four-part exercise piece that was created with the intention of helping SBHC staff initiate and navigate conversations around immigration, what it means to be undocumented in this country, how to be a good ally, and how to really hold space for young people in a way that makes them feel safe to voice, vent, and discuss the everyday feelings that they experience. 
  • Federal Funds for “Sanctuary” Jurisdictions  Read the analysis from the California Budget and Policy Center about President Trump’s executive order to withhold federal funds for sanctuary cities and the temporary suspension of the executive order by a federal judge at the end of April. 
  • Resources for community health centers & clinics – CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates, affiliated with the California Primary Care Association, has created this comprehensive list of resources for community clinics. This includes “Know your Rights” information that you can share with patients, current and pending California laws around immigration, talking points, and information about ICE practices. 
  • Resources for school districts and school boards The California School Boards Association developed resources to help support all students, regardless of immigration status. Resources include legal guidance, sample board resolutions & policy, and a letter from State Superintendent calling for public schools to remains safe havens for students and families. 
  • Information about CA’s Undocumented Students – A great factsheet highlighting key demographic data on undocumented students in California, policies affecting immigrant students as well as opportunities and challenges to support these students. Helpful terminology and pertinent policy information for California’s students, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
  • Public Health Actions for Immigrant Rights – A comprehensive guide from Public Health Awakened that provides helpful strategies, actions, and resources for people working in local health agencies and/or health clinics. 
  • DACA & resources for educators – Educators for Fair Consideration developed the following list of helpful tips and tools for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients and a new guide, Post-Election: What Educators Can Do To Support Undocumented Students. They have many helpful resources for school staff and will continue to add resources to their website as details emerge from the new administration.
  • DACA & resources for schools – The rhetoric of this election has left many immigrant children and families worried about their future and protection in this country. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created many resources to inform, prepare, and protect immigrants. ILRC created a document with talking points on DACA and resources for schools as they play a critical role in supporting immigrant families.
  • Immigrant rights in schools and health facilities – The National Immigration Law Center hosted this webinar sharing the strategies and actions that schools and health facilities can take to protect undocumented students and patients. The presentation discusses campus safety policies, policies to protect patient information in healthcare, developments around DACA, and mobilization efforts.
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities for all immigrants – Educators for Fair Consideration has launched a new initiative – Immigrants Rising – to expand entrepreneurship opportunities for all immigrants regardless of legal status.