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Letter to the House on Immigration Reform

March 13, 2013

Dear Representative: 

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we would like to offer our views in connection with tomorrow’s hearing, “The Separation of Nuclear Families under U.S. Immigration Law.” 

NEA strongly supports preserving family unity. NEA educators witness firsthand the critical role family stability plays in student success. Yet growing numbers of public school students live in fear that our nation’s immigration policies will break up their families, forcing them to choose between their country and their loved ones—mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers.  

We also believe that family unity would be further safeguarded when a clear path to citizenship is created for the 11 million aspiring citizens who call America home. Without a realistic path to citizenship, the potential consequences for our aspiring citizens and their families could be significant.  

Preserving family unity must be a part of comprehensive immigration reform. In addition, we urge you to incorporate and expand the DREAM Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to give undocumented students who graduate from U.S. high schools access to in-state tuition, so they can pursue higher education on an equal footing. If comprehensive reform is to be achieved, we believe, these elements of family unity must be priorities and must be accompanied by an articulated path to citizenship.  

The time for comprehensive immigration reform is now. We believe that preserving family unity is an essential component of reform, along with expanding the DREAM Act and creating a pathway to citizenship. NEA looks forward to working with you to make real reform a reality for our students and their families.

Sincerely,  

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations