Washington—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on President Obama's vision for immigration reform:
"The time for immigration reform is long overdue, and we applaud the president today for proposing a commonsense, compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform plan that provides a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the United States. The president's blueprint for reform, and the U.S. Senate bipartisan framework, shows an understanding that our nation has always been enriched by immigrants and strengthened by the diversity they bring. His proposal strengthens our borders, ensures immigrant children can go to school without fear, keeps families together, and promotes safe and secure jobs for all workers. His continued support of the Dream Act gives dreamers the chance to dream by giving hard-working students who play by the rules an opportunity to pursue a college degree.
"Commonsense immigration reform would lift millions of undocumented workers out of the shadows of an underground economy, would reduce exploitation by employers, and would mean millions of dollars in new tax revenue. At the same time, we must continue to fight for good-paying jobs for all Americans.
"As a nation of immigrants, and as the granddaughter of immigrants, we are keenly aware that our strength has always been built on the simple notion that America is a place where many become one. The AFT, as the representative of those who teach and care for our next generation, pledges to work to open the path to opportunity and the American dream for the next generation of immigrants."