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School district’s Mexican-American Studies class: Immigration restrictions are ‘oppression’

A Texas school district’s Mexican-American Studies curriculum says restrictions on immigration are “oppression,” and the terms “illegal” and “undocumented” “perpetuate stereotypes.”

Parents Defending Education reports the Round Rock Independent School District course is an elective for grades 9-12 this year, and will be offered next year as well.

Ironically, while denouncing “undocumented,” the curriculum uses the term when discussing Mexican-American activists (“worked to raise awareness about […] undocumented individuals”), and the activist group Jolt Action (“The criminalization of undocumented immigrants …”).

In addition, the curriculum highlights a quote from Mexican-American poet Luis Alberto Urrea who says “illegal immigrant” is “A term by which An invading colonial force Vilifies Indigenous cultures By identifying them as An invading colonial force.”

A student learning objective for the unit “Systems of Power and Oppression” reads “Students will able to describe how significant events from 1975 to present have strengthened systems of oppression against Mexican Americans, such as the strengthened immigration laws that made immigration from Mexico harder.”

The words “oppression” and “suppression” are used in six of 17 learning objectives.

According to the report, the unit titled “Resistance and Liberation” claims the DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — program and Texas Dreamers Act are “resistance against oppression.”

MORE: HS foreign language teachers dress up as ‘Mexicans,’ social media frenzy ensues

The unit’s focus on Mexican-American activists presents an interesting situation. It mentions Cesar Chávez, the famous farmworker activist who left a “lasting impact,” but does not point out he was against illegal immigration. In fact, Chávez began a movement called the Illegals Campaign which “raise[d] awareness about illegal immigration and report undocumented workers to federal authorities.”

On the other hand, Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez founded the aforementioned Jolt Action which states on its website “the criminalization of undocumented immigrants and the demonization of those who come to this country seeking a better future must end.”

Under the section “What We Stand For,” Jolt Action notes the effects of climate change “are being felt most profoundly in Black and Brown communities,” that “everyone” should have access to healthcare and higher education, and claims measures Texas has taken to make voting more secure are just further attempts to “suppress the voting power of [the state’s] growing Black and brown constituency.”

According to the Parents Defending Education report, other resources utilized in the course come from “Teaching Tolerance” and “Creating Classrooms for Equity and Social Justice,” part of the far-left groups Southern Poverty Law Center and Rethinking Schools, respectively.

The Round Rock district is approximately one-third white, one-third Hispanic, 20 percent Asian, and eight percent black.

MORE: California school bans American flag, allows Mexican flag

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.