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San Diego Schools To Open Special Office For Immigration Requests

Aired 9/3/12 on KPBS News.

Starting Tuesday, San Diego’s school district will have a special location to handle requests for deferred action policy documentation.

In the two weeks since President Obama’s deferred action policy for undocumented immigrants took effect, San Diego’s school district has been flooded with requests for documentation. Starting Tuesday, the district will have a special location to handle these requests.

The Ballard Parent Center in Old Town.

Above: The Ballard Parent Center in Old Town.

The deferred action policy allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to stay here for two years, and grants them work permits.

When applying for deferred action, an undocumented immigrant needs to show school records to prove he’s been in the country since childhood. That means between 50 and 100 people have come to the San Diego Unified School District every day asking for documents, said Linda Zintz, a spokeswoman for the district.

“So in order to provide a better opportunity for them, a better experience for them, to get this document, we’re opening up a help spot at our Ballard Center, it’s going to be open on Tuesday and it will continue to stay open,” she said.

Normally, students would go to their individual schools to get records, or to the district’s central office. Now all students who want proof they attended a San Diego school should go to the Ballard Parent Center on 2375 Congress St. in Old Town.

Zintz said the school’s staff has been enthusiastic about helping this process.

“It’s remarkable with such few personnel down here, how when there’s a real need people come together and put into place a plan that’s a real team effort to meet the needs of our community,” she said.

The Ballard center will be open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on deferred action, visit the school district's website.

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