Teach For America Statement on the Bipartisan DREAM Act Of 2017


New York, July 20, 2017—Following today’s introduction of the DREAM Act of 2017 by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Teach For America Chief Executive Officer Elisa Villanueva Beard released the following statement:

“At Teach For America, we believe that every child deserves an equitable and excellent education. Depriving any student of the chance to learn and grow in our classrooms deprives our country of future leaders and contributors to our society and economy. Guided by this belief, we have long supported pathways to citizenship for those who came to the United States as children without documentation.

We supported the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act in 2011; we backed the interim solution of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in 2012; and we support this new, bipartisan legislation that would allow DREAMers to earn lawful permanent residence and have access to a path toward citizenship.

Since 2013, Teach For America has brought more than 140 leaders with DACA status into classrooms where they’re most needed, and we’ve seen firsthand the immense contributions they make as educators and role models. The communities where we work are benefiting from their talent and commitment. They are making our country stronger.

As an organization developing leadership to expand educational opportunity, we believe these individuals deserve the right to pursue college degrees and careers without a threat of deportation. We also continue to stand by the undocumented students in our classrooms. All of our incoming corps members this summer are receiving training, led by our corps members and alumni with DACA status, on how to support undocumented students and families and create safe learning spaces.

We call on Congress to pass the DREAM Act of 2017 and protect hundreds of thousands of young people who know only America as home. We need this permanent measure to safeguard these vulnerable students and expand their access to high-quality education.”

To learn more about the DREAM Act and the existing DACA executive order and to take action, visit our FAQ and toolkit on teachforamerica.org.

View a Spanish version of this press release.

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. In the last year, some 6,900 corps members taught in 53 urban and rural regions across the country. They are part of a Teach For America community that is 53,000 strong and working across every sector to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter