DACA decision callous, short-sighted

NJEA’s officers released a statement today forcefully condemning the Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), a program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children. With a united voice, they called on Congress to protect the Dreamers who make our nation stronger and more vibrant.

NJEA President Marie Blistan warned of the harmful effect that ending DACA could have on schools. “Children are the future of this nation, no matter where they were born. Every child deserves to be treated as a precious resource, not as a criminal or an unwanted intruder. As a teacher, I always make sure that my classroom is safe and welcoming for every child. School should always be that safe haven, but if immigrant parents and children become afraid to participate in society, they might even begin to withdraw from their school community. That hurts the child, the family and the community. I call on Congress to act immediately to protect Dreamers to ensure a brighter future for them and for our nation. Don’t deport our Dreamers!”

NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller expressed outrage at the political calculation behind the policy shift. “Donald Trump’s decision to appeal to fear and prejudice rather than stand up for justice and humanity shows that he’s not a fit leader for a diverse, democratic nation. The politics of division may win him some applause from people who fear an inclusive, welcoming society, but it ultimately weakens our nation. As educators, we have an obligation to stand for policies that make all of our students feel welcome and accepted. When children are involved, we have to put politics aside and keep their interests first.”

NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty also condemned the change. “As a social studies teacher, I know that immigrants have always been part of the American story. In our history, we look back with regret at our mistreatment of earlier immigrant groups. We should not repeat the mistakes of the past by mistreating today’s immigrants or underestimating the incredible contributions they are already making. If Congress doesn’t act to reverse this decision, it will weaken our nation. Let’s not make history that future generations will be ashamed of.”

For more information on resources educators can use to support Dreamers, visit NEA’s EdJustice page.

Take action to support DREAMers.

Learn more about NJEA’s commitment to educating all students.

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