As the Trump administration considers ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), school chiefs from across the country took a strong stand against withdrawing protections from K-12 students, regardless of their legal status.
In a statement released by Chiefs for Change (CFC), the superintendents called on Trump to “maintain the protections that now exist” for young people brought to the United States as young children until “bipartisan immigration reform” is accomplished.
In a conference call with reporters, Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie and Washington D.C. State Superintendent Hanseul Kang emphasized that protecting children enrolled in their schools, regardless of their immigration status, is their top priority.
Runcie pointed out that there has been no public pressure against DACA students in Broward County school board meetings and cited a national poll indicating that 78 percent of the American public supports the young immigrants known as Dreamers who are protected from deportation by DACA.
“Dreamers are our future—students, members of our communities, even teachers. They’re productively engaged and employed, and it would deeply hurt our schools if they were pushed out or deported. Our schools have done their job in educating them to be contributing members of our society. We must reform the law—and make sure no harm is done to these young people in the meantime,” Runcie said.
“I know the fear immigrant families and students experience,” said Kang, who is one of a number of school chiefs who grew up undocumented and has written about her experiences.
“It is in our national interest to ensure that the young people who are here in our country today are educated and working, rather than being pushed into the shadows. Knowing the moral and economic stakes, we as education leaders are raising our voice to call for Congress to pass a law that offers lasting protections, in the context of commonsense immigration reform, and to make sure current protections stay in place until a law is passed.”