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NEA President urges Senate to support the DREAM Act

Education remains the key to economic security and prosperity for all students

WASHINGTON - September 21, 2010 -

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel today urged the U.S. Senate to add the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to the U.S. Department of Defense authorization bill. If enacted into law, the DREAM Act will provide a path to legal status for individuals brought to the U.S. as undocumented children years ago.

Each year, thousands of undocumented students who have lived in the United States for at least five years graduate from U.S. high schools. Among these students—with whom NEA members work every day—are class valedictorians, straight-A students, and idealistic youth committed to bettering their communities. Yet, because of enormous barriers created by their lack of legal status, many such students are unable to pursue higher education.  The loss to these students, and to society as a whole, is significant.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“The DREAM Act is a resounding affirmation that education remains the key to economic security and prosperity for all students.

“But under the current, outdated immigration system, undocumented children of immigrants who grew up in this country and who call America home are being deprived of such opportunities.

“We believe this legislation is a fair, practical solution that upholds the best of our shared values of fairness, accountability and strong work ethic.

“We urge the Senate to add the DREAM Act to the Department of Defense authorization bill to allow these students to achieve their dream and continue contributing to their communities and society.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing
3.2  million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823,