WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus on U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision in Texas v. U.S. deeming the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unlawful:
“Friday, despite our victory in the U.S. Supreme Court just months ago, the rug was pulled out from under hundreds of thousands of DACA beneficiaries, yet again putting them at risk in the midst of a pandemic. DACA recipients are teachers, nurses, college professors, bus drivers and grocery workers—they make up a large part of the frontline, essential workers who have showed up for us every day, risking their own health, as the world continues to grapple with a healthcare and justice catastrophe.
“DACA recipients and DACA-eligible youth have been living from court decision to court decision since the first attempts, in September 2017, to end DACA. No one should have to live in fear, with their fate dangling in the courts, so we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the rights of immigrants in this country. The Biden administration and Congress must take action to permanently protect undocumented people—not just DACA recipients, but all 11 million undocumented people living in this country. We must work together to reaffirm what we know to be true: DACA recipients belong here.”
“The decision to deem the DACA program illegal—blocking more than 80,000 DACA applications currently in Department of Homeland Security review—is heartless and cruel. DACA-eligible youth have done everything our society has asked of them; we have a moral obligation to do right by them. This decision could also result in the deportation of nearly 1 million young people who have only ever known the United States as their home. Dreamers keep our schools and hospitals running, our neighborhoods safe and our communities afloat. DACA recipients had a promise made to them, and turning our backs on them now is fundamentally unfair—its effects are cruel and will be felt not just in Texas but throughout every community in the country. We must provide immigrants with the freedom to thrive by passing legislation with a pathway to citizenship. We can do this!”