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Letter to Senator Rubio for SOTU Response

February 12, 2013

Dear Senator Rubio: 

The more than three million members of the NEA applaud your bipartisan efforts on comprehensive immigration reform.  We thank you for the leadership exhibited by you and your Senate colleagues as you work together to produce a fair, commonsense immigration system that will open doors of opportunity for the students our members serve—who call America home—and their families.  

We are heartened you will deliver the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address, and we await your remarks with both an open mind and sense of urgency. As educators, we see aspiring Americans every day in our classrooms, meet hopeful parents who have moved here to make a better life for their children, and witness the profound impact the current immigration system has on these families. We understand firsthand how factors such as citizenship status and family unity play a critical role in student success.  

There is broad agreement among American people on both sides of the political aisle that our patchwork of immigration policies and programs is broken and needs to be fixed.  

Your bipartisan efforts signal that both parties are willing to come to the table and work towards a solution that creates an effective, comprehensive immigration process for aspiring Americans: providing a pathway to college and career for talented students who have much to offer the nation and a roadmap for these students and their families to become citizens. 

Hailing from a family of immigrants, like many Americans, gives you the chance to share your perspective with the nation, reinforce the shared agreement to create an earned path to citizenship, and show the country we are on the right path as we put our values first and move forward—together. 


Dennis Van Roekel