The Winter edition of AFT’s flagship publication, the American Educator, is filled with timely reports on hot topics touching our classrooms, from school accountability to social and emotional learning to immigration policy. We commend all of it to your attention, but we particularly recommend AFT President Randi Weingarten’s “Where We Stand” column, which places the current heated debate over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in the context of America’s heritage as a nation of immigrants. The article is copied for your convenience below:
Protecting Our Country’s Proud Immigrant Tradition
The current debates over immigration are personal for me. Like many Americans, I am the granddaughter of immigrants. My mother’s parents fled pogroms in Russia and Ukraine; my father’s family had faced anti-Semitism in Austria. They worked hard as merchants in the Bronx and in Nyack, New York, and were proud of their children’s military service and careers as engineers, teachers, nurses, and lawyers. My family’s immigrant story connects me to other immigrants, whether they’re from El Salvador, Syria, or Sudan. America would not be the country we know and love without our long and enriching immigrant tradition.
Without congressional action by March 2018, Dreamers will be deported or have to live in the shadows. We need to end the political gridlock and enact comprehensive solutions to our broken immigration system. That starts by providing pathways to citizenship for millions of students, families, and neighbors working and living alongside us who are at risk of being deported. Congress must pass the Dream Act—a clean version, not one that only protects Dreamers in exchange for funding for a border wall, increased immigration raids, detention centers, and policies that separate families and cause constant fear and uncertainty.