Press Release

PFT President Jordan and AFT President Weingarten on Introduction of Private Bill to Grant Permanent Resident Status to Hernandez Family

For Release: 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Contact:

George Jackson
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
215-687-6750
gjackson@pft.org

PHILADELPHIA— Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the introduction of a private bill that would grant Carmela Hernandez and her children permanent resident status, which would prevent their deportation. The family took sanctuary four months ago in a North Philadelphia church to avoid being deported to Mexico, where they would be in danger.

"The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers join our Sanctuary Advocate Coalition allies in thanking U.S. Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) for introducing private legislation to give permanent resident status to Carmela Hernandez and her children. 

AFT President Randi Weingarten said: "What has made America—this nation of immigrants—great are our people and our values. We thank Rep. Brady for rising above the hateful, partisan rhetoric, for everything he’s done for the Hernandez family, and for his work with our schools and the broader community to fight the terror facing immigrant children who dare to venture out to school every day. We hope Rep. Brady’s colleagues will join with him in this act of humanity for a woman and her family who have already suffered so much.”

PFT President Jerry Jordan Said: "From the moment the PFT learned about Carmela's incredible story of escaping violent drug cartels in Mexico and her brave decision to send her children to a Philadelphia public school, we wanted to do everything we could to help support this family. We asked Rep. Brady to submit this private bill and are thrilled that it's been introduced in Congress. 

"We are now asking members of Congress to speak in favor of this bill, and to do everything in their power to ensure its passage. Carmela Hernandez and others have come to the United States for economic opportunity, safety, and the chance to join and contribute to our communities. 

"For their sake, I hope our elected leaders will fight to prevent us from becoming a nation that rejects and punishes those who seek the American dream."

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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.