WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on President Trump’s latest immigration proposal:
“Public sentiment is overwhelmingly for the U.S. government to find a way to avert the deportation of 1.8 million Dreamers—a problem that exists because President Trump revoked Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in September and gave Congress six months to fix it.
“Trump’s newest proposal is cruel and divisive. It uses people, including many now working as teachers, lawyers and doctors, as a bargaining chip for funding a border wall—money he needs since Mexico was never going to pay for it. Worse, he tells these young adults that, for them to stay in the only country they know, their parents will be deported and their families will be uprooted.
“It’s ‘fake news’ to pretend this is a deal to protect Dreamers. While Americans want the GOP to solve this humanitarian and economic crisis, the president once again has rejected a bipartisan immigration approach and caved to Stephen Miller and John Kelly, and other nativist and racist pressures. This isn’t a bill of love; it’s an act of contempt for people who have worked hard, built this nation and embodied the American dream.
“It is not humane to pit Dreamers against their families or to gut our legal immigration system by eliminating the diversity visa, ending most family reunification categories and emboldening Trump’s deportation force, which targets law-abiding immigrants who have contributed much to the communities they live in and sends children back to the violence they fled.
"We are a union of educators, nurses and health professionals, and public service workers. Not only are many AFT members immigrants, we also teach and care for immigrant children and their families. We reject this callous, racist proposal. Trump created this crisis when he ended DACA; it’s up to Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress to resolve this crisis by passing the Dream Act. Dreamers are Americans, and it’s time for Congress to formally recognize that fact in law and lift the shadow of insecurity and fear that consumes their daily lives. DACAmented teachers, lawyers, nurses, community organizers and others need to be celebrated for the work they are doing, not demonized and scapegoated.”