Schools must remain safe places for students, families

 Earlier today, two New Jersey residents, Gunawan Liem and Roby Sanger, were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as they dropped their children off at school. NJEA’s officers released the following statement in response to the incident:

“These arrests are a disgrace,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “There is no excuse for harassing parents and terrorizing children who simply want to go to school. By instilling fear in children and parents alike, these arrests will not only tear two families apart but will also make it harder for other children in New Jersey to believe that their schools are safe places to learn. We must be better than this. We are nation built on diversity and inclusion, not fear and division.”

“This callous approach to immigration is tearing families apart,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “NJEA will continue to stand up for our students and their families. We condemn this intrusion on our schools and on the educational process. As educators, we open our arms and our classrooms to all children. As educators, it’s our duty to stand up to injustice, especially when our students are involved.”

“A child’s place of birth does not determine his or her value to our great society,” declared NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty. “We will not rest until our nation treats all people with the dignity that every human being deserves. We encourage all New Jersey residents to condemn these cruel and unnecessary arrests and to urge Congress to pass the Dream Act and defend all of New Jersey’s Dreamers.”

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