More than 1,000 education leaders, including superintendents of some of the nation’s largest school districts, have signed on to a petition requesting continued protection for “DREAMers,” young immigrants brought to this country as children.
The youths are currently covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a policy created by President Barack Obama that paved the way for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to receive a two-year work authorization and protection from deportation.
Educators and immigration advocates across the nation fear the policy, commonly known as DACA, could be a target of the Trump administration’s plan to crack down on illegal immigration. The signatories to the letter worry that students, teachers, and others who work in education, would face immediate deportation without DACA.
“Out of concern for children and the strength of our nation, we respectfully call on officials at the highest levels of power to address this issue in an urgent way,” the letter reads in part. “Students must be able to attend school and graduate with a clear path toward a productive future, and teachers who were brought here as children must be able to continue to strengthen our schools and our nation.”
Trump has said his administration will develop a plan for the young immigrants, but has yet to offer specifics on a potential plan.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump said during an interview with Time magazine, as part of its “Person of the Year” coverage.
The education leaders calling for an urgent solution include the heads of school systems in Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Nashville, Newark, Memphis, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Jose and Tulsa. The list of supporters also includes Teach For America, the American Federation of Teachers and a host of charter school organizations.
Stand for Children, an education-policy advocacy group, spearheaded the campaign.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.