Press Release

Landmark Immigration Action Expands Opportunities for Students

For Release: 

Friday, June 15, 2012


Carolyn Fiddler

"All children deserve access to a quality public education and a fair shot at realizing
their dreams"

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on President Obama's executive action halting the deportation of hardworking, law-abiding immigrant youth.

"All children deserve access to a quality public education and a fair shot at realizing their dreams. President Obama has given hope to young people who have demonstrated good citizenship by pursuing college or protecting our nation. The nearly 1 million youths affected by this decision have done everything our society has asked them to do. They have worked hard, studied hard, and are pursuing college educations. These young immigrants are our students, and they deserve a chance to become productive members of our society without living with constant fear and uncertainty.
"It is certainly appropriate that the president's action comes on the 30th anniversary of the historic Plyler v. Doe decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was against the law to deny children access to public education, regardless of their citizenship or that of their parents.

"Now more than ever, Congress needs to pass the DREAM Act and give hardworking students a path toward legal permanent status and, eventually, citizenship. Maintaining barriers to their success does nothing to benefit our economy, our national security or our collective well-being."


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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.