AFT Resolution

IMMIGRATION AND ISLAMOPHOBIA

WHEREAS, millions of people have been displaced from their homes in the Middle East and Africa by war, persecution, terrorism and political and economic turmoil, and this has led to the greatest wave of migrants since World War II; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers recalls our nation’s history, which is enriched by immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and new arrivals, and recalls our union’s history in its fight for equality and against bigotry, and further remembers and recognizes how immigrants–whether from Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas–have continuously faced discrimination throughout our nation’s history; and

WHEREAS, refugees from this current crisis have been welcomed and integrated into some communities in Europe and the United States, while other communities in Europe and the United States have seen a rise in nationalist politics, anti-immigration actions, Islamophobia and xenophobia; and

WHEREAS, young people are particularly alienated and marginalized in the face of bullying, hate speech and narrow-minded peers, which result in negative socio-psychological behaviors; and

WHEREAS, our priority is in public schools that are rooted in our communities and provide all children a rich learning experience in secure and safe environments:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will lobby federal, state and local governments to expedite the processing and resettlement of tens of thousands of men, women and children, and meet immigrants’ needs for jobs, education, housing, security and healthcare; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to advocate that the current immigrant crisis must not become justification for reducing civil and political rights, turning our backs on refugees and asylum seekers, or yielding to politicians’ outrageous ideas of excluding immigrants based on religion and police profiling in ethnic neighborhoods; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will use every opportunity to confront the alienation and defeatism that lead students to embrace extremism and violence; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will call on political leaders to denounce bigotry and hate speech, and champion humane immigration policies that infuse a spirit in our nation that welcomes immigrants and provides them social and economic opportunities; and

RESOLVED, that in light of the fact that strong public schools create strong communities, the AFT will call upon community schools to provide the support and wraparound services that immigrant families need, including educational resources and comprehensive integration programs, such as language immersion, socio-psychological services and basic healthcare, counseling and mentoring; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will lobby Congress and the executive branch for increased humanitarian assistance abroad to help address the catastrophic situation where millions of people from the Middle East and North Africa are seeking asylum from the ravages of war, oppression and persecution; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will advocate the economic integration of immigrants by promoting inclusion in career and technical education and employment opportunities, and the elimination of segregation and isolation of Muslims and other immigrants; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will work with Education International, Public Services International and civil society allies to produce a curriculum, tools and other resources to teach our children about our rich immigrant experiences, diversity, religious tolerance, in particular toward Islam, and peaceful conflict resolution.

(2016)

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.