Deported high schoolers could receive diplomas under new bill

SAN DIEGO — High school seniors who are deported before finishing their studies would be eligible for diplomas under a bill introduced Friday by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher of San Diego.

The Democrat introduced the bill as Congress remains at an impasse on a deal to protect so-called dreamers from deportation. Dreamers, those brought to the U.S. illegally at a young age and who are covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, have temporary authorization to remain in the country.

That permission is set to expire on March 5 unless Congress passes a bill or President Donald Trump reverses his decision to end the program.

“These are kids who are being ripped out of school against their will and then sent to countries where they have to restart their lives,” Gonzalez Fletcher said. “We can’t stop the federal government from enforcing asinine immigration policies but we can make the transition easier for California students who get deported their senior year.”

To be eligible, students would need to have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

The bill would also cover those undocumented immigrants who are not DACA recipients.

As precedent, Gonzalez Fletcher pointed to laws passed in several states that allowed those who served in the Vietnam War to receive their diplomas if they were deployed prior to graduating.