NEW YORK, N.Y., June 21, 2018—Teach For America Chief Executive Officer Elisa Villanueva Beard issued this statement on the proposed Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 and the Goodlatte Bill, which are scheduled to be voted on by the US House of Representatives today:
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on two immigration bills today that are said to be a solution for Dreamers and individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, but these bills fall far short of that goal.
Teach For America believes that individuals who come to the U.S. as children should be able to receive an education and pursue the American Dream without the threat of deportation and should have a pathway to fully participate in American society as citizens.
For us, it is about doing what’s right for kids. Before DACA, in some states many young people who came to this country as children could be denied the opportunity of pursuing an education beyond secondary school. All children, in every state, deserve the right to access an excellent, equitable education and to pursue higher education and careers - and to live a life of dignity, without a threat of deportation.
Teachers are often the first adults undocumented students ask for help. DACA teachers are incredible allies for children and their families, and they are critical members of their schools and communities. But Congress’ failure to enact a permanent solution and a pathway to citizenship jeopardizes our ability to recruit DACA recipients as TFA corps members. It prevents this talented group of young people from pursuing their own dreams and achieving success in life, and deprives us all of their much needed talent to teach and lead in our classrooms and communities.
We continue to be deeply disappointed by Congress’ failure to act to provide a permanent, workable solution to this issue. We urge Members of Congress to reject these bills and adopt a truly bipartisan compromise that provides a clear and permanent pathway to citizenship for all eligible Dreamers and DACA recipients, such as the Dream Act or other similar legislation, without provisions that could harm immigrant communities.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of 56,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence, and to lead. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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