Dec. 22, 2017 (New York) — Educators for Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization, is deeply disappointed in Congress’ failure to pass legislation that would create a path to permanent legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children. E4E members believe this action is crucial to bring stability to the lives of undocumented children and their families and ensure that all students can focus on learning rather than fear for their future.
"I teach 11th-grade, a time when students begin planning for the future, for college and their career, but instead, my undocumented students live in fear of being able to go to college, get a job or even to continue living in the only country they remember,” said E4E-Los Angeles member Sasha Guzmán, U.S. history teacher at Social Justice Humanitas Academy in San Fernando, California. “While Members of Congress are headed home to relax and enjoy their holidays, 800,000 immigrants do not know if this will be their last holiday in the United States. Every day without the Dream Act, 122 young people lose their protected status and their dream is diminished. Teachers see the impact of these children not knowing their future in our classrooms every day. Our children deserve better.”
“We are disappointed that Congress chose to prioritize their own vacation over protecting young people by delaying a decision on DACA until 2018,” said Evan Stone, Co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Educators for Excellence. “This procrastination has left 13,500 DACA recipients, who will have lost their protections by Christmas, in fear they will no longer be able to study, work, or even see their families again. How can a child learn with this uncertainty? While Congress can dismiss Dreamers and return home for the holidays, our teachers will not. E4E educators will continue to advocate on behalf of their immigrant students and colleagues until a long-lasting solution, such as the Dream Act, is passed.”
In a campaign led by a group of nine classroom teachers from across the country, more than 1,200 E4E members signed a letter calling on President Trump and members of Congress to fulfill the the promises made to undocumented students and families under DACA. The letter cited the significance of DACA in protecting the safety of students and educators with DACA status, as well as called for a lasting solution, such as the DREAM Act.
In the letter, the E4E members also committed to:
- Making sure that all students are welcomed and included in our classrooms, regardless of immigration status;
- Protecting information about the immigration status of students and their families; and
- Supporting our students, our colleagues, and their families by advocating to maintain DACA and finding a more long-lasting solution.