AFT’s Weingarten Responds to DACA Repeal
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects more than 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children:
“The young people covered by DACA are woven into our communities—learning in, working in, defending and contributing to the country that is their home. Offering protection to DACAmented immigrants was done based on the understanding that America is stronger when we value people and create opportunity to achieve the American dream, regardless of demography or geography.
“President Trump made a promise that he would treat Dreamers with ‘great heart.’ Now, for seemingly political reasons, he is breaking his promise to students, teachers, doctors, nurses and lawyers who took him at his word. This is not the America I know—an America that says one thing to its citizens and then does another. Betraying DACA Dreamers is betraying the values of our diverse and welcoming nation. America will not be stronger or more secure when these young people are torn away from the country they love and call their own. America will be diminished—and the toll will be measured by families ripped apart, people cast into the shadows and into poverty, businesses upended, economies weakened and dreams shattered.
“As children return to school, many carry with them constant, crippling terror and uncertainty because of their immigration status. Children should be free to learn and live without fear. Inhumane immigration policies deprive them of that freedom.
“President Trump has an opportunity to lead on this issue. The time has come for the president and Congress to offer comprehensive solutions to our broken immigration system. We must defend DACA now, but we know the enduring work is to provide pathways to citizenship for millions of students, families and neighbors working and living alongside us, which includes passing the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.
“The AFT will continue to fight to protect undocumented students, refugees, individuals with temporary protective status, and their families from the threat of deportation. A nation built by immigrants should welcome those in pursuit of the American dream, not pull up the ladder behind us.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.