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Letter to the House Judiciary Committee for Hearing on Obama's Immigration Executive Action

December 01, 2014

Dear Representative: 

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), and the students they serve, we would like to offer our views in advance of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on President Obama’s executive action on immigration.  

Fixing our broken immigration system is a top priority for educators because it has a profound impact on our students and their families. Educators witness firsthand the critical role family stability plays in student success. Yet, a growing number of 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. 

President Obama’s recent announcement of executive action on immigration has the potential to bring five million aspiring Americans out from the shadows, many of whom were brought into the country through no fault of their own as children, and including the parents of children who are U.S. citizens. This action includes the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which has served to keep approximately 700,000 students and their families together.

NEA strongly supports this action, absent a comprehensive immigration reform bill like H.R. 15 being passed by Congress, that will provide millions of students in our classrooms and families in our communities protection from fear of deportation.

While educators welcome this necessary action, we still have a long way to go. This is only a temporary fix, something more permanent must be done. We urge Congress to pass a comprehensive bill, such as H.R. 15, that creates a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million aspiring Americans; continues to preserve the unity of family; and includes the DREAM Act and DACA.

As educators, we encounter aspiring Americans in our classrooms and schools every day. For the sake of our students and their families, we urge you to take action now—not later—to make comprehensive immigration reform a reality at last.

Sincerely,

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations