AFT Resolution

IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES

WHEREAS, according to the American Immigration Council, 775,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 17 percent of the immigrant population and 3.9 percent of the total New York state population in 2014, with the vast majority living in New York City; and

WHEREAS, President Obama’s 2012 executive order called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allowed nearly 800,000 young people who entered the United States as undocumented children and have deep roots in this country to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and temporary work authorization, including teaching certification for those qualified to teach; and

WHEREAS, the median age of entry into the United States among DACA recipients was 6, and the most common age was 3, according to a survey conducted by Tom K. Wong, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, along with the Center for American Progress; and

WHEREAS, the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in March 2018 is now the subject of numerous lawsuits, and a federal judge in early January granted a request by a number of states to keep DACA going until those lawsuits are decided in court; and

WHEREAS, the Trump administration has continued to make statements that are detrimental to Dreamers and immigrants, casting aspersions on immigrants who come from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa; and

WHEREAS, the Center for American Progress estimates the nation will lose about $460 billion in gross domestic product during the next 10 years without those people protected by DACA; and

WHEREAS, even without these people’s contributions to the economy, the humanitarian approach demands we allow them to remain in this nation, which for many of them is the only home they have ever known; and

WHEREAS, the Trump administration has emboldened the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to increase raids on immigrant communities, including a nationwide predawn raid on 7-Eleven stores on Jan. 10, 2018; and

WHEREAS, on May 13, 2017, an ICE agent attempted to enter a New York City public school; and

WHEREAS, according to news reports, ICE arrests of undocumented immigrants are up by around 40 percent since Trump took office; and

WHEREAS, the Trump administration ended the Temporary Protected Status of more than 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador in January 2018, uprooting them from the lives they had spent decades building in the United States and condemning them to return to a country wracked by violent conflict; and

WHEREAS, the Trump administration similarly ended the protected status of nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants who had spent almost a decade in the United States; and

WHEREAS, these and other federal attacks on immigrant communities nationwide destroy lives and livelihoods, tear apart families, damage the country’s economy, and degrade the nation’s aspirations to be a place of welcome and refuge; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers locals have repeatedly stood up for immigrants’ rights in both word and deed, including with numerous resolutions expressing support for DACA and other measures to support immigrant communities and by participating in rallies and protests against anti-immigrant actions:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers declares its unwavering support for the rights and dignity of all immigrants to the United States; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will advocate on behalf of its members and their students who could face deportation or separation from family members as a result of the reversal of DACA; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will work with the National Education Association (NEA) to support undocumented students, refugees and individuals with Temporary Protected Status from the threat of deportation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will work with the NEA and other allies to provide pathways to citizenship for DACA recipients as well as the millions of students, families and neighbors who are our neighbors, which includes lobbying for the passage of federal legislation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will urge its members to contact their representatives in Congress to demand a solution for our undocumented neighbors, including the passage of the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT strongly will oppose the practice of ICE entering any public school and/or removing any students; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to support and engage community nationwide in a sustained action campaign.

(2018)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.