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Lily Eskelsen García: Revoking DACA tramples on our core American values

Trump abandons DACA promise and shatters dreams of aspiring young Americans

WASHINGTON - September 05, 2017 -

President Donald Trump today revoked Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that is vital to the well-being of nearly 800,000 young people who arrived in the United States as children.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“Upon taking office, President Trump signaled on more than one occasion that he’d look at DACA recipients—Dreamers, aspiring young Americans, neighbors, colleagues, and, yes, our students—with ‘great heart.’ Instead, today he cruelly abandoned his promise and decided to rescind DACA, disrupting their lives, and tearing apart our families and communities.

“By dismantling DACA, Trump has attacked Texas teacher Areli Zarate and turned his back on her. She arrived in the United States with her family when she was 8 years old. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and, following her passion for teaching, she now is a DACAmented high school teacher in Austin. Areli and educators like her are now working in our public schools, colleges, and universities across the country, inspiring and educating the next generation of Americans. They are helping prepare students like Gema Hernandez, who, thanks to DACA, is the first in her family to graduate from college. Gema and many like her are our future teachers, scientists, engineers, and small business owners. We cannot afford to lose the creativity, talent, and contributions people such as Gema are making to our communities and our country.

“America is a nation that welcomes Dreamers and their many talents. When we embrace their contributions, the future is brighter for all of us. Ending DACA violates these core American values. This will turn their lives upside down and lead to unprecedented peril. After meeting all of the requirements to live and work in the United States, they will face deportation and separation from their families and our communities. They will again face anxiety and uncertainty about their future, stripped of the ability to live normal lives. Dashing the dreams of people like Areli and Gema is yet another example to add to the growing list of racist, hate-fueled acts by the Trump administration. This White House decision is immoral and un-American.

“We will continue to raise our voices in a collective chorus for justice to defend and protect Dreamers and their families. Now more than ever, we need a permanent legislative solution to DACA so these young people have the certainty they deserve. Congress should not wait 6 months to permanently fix this decision but instead act immediately to protect DACA recipients and Dreamers, and pass into law the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.”

More resources on protecting immigrant students are available here.

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Keep up with the conversation at #DefendDACA #EducationNOTDeportation

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT:  Miguel A. Gonzalez


Educators decry Trump proposal to tear apart immigrant families - NEA Press Center | August 25, 2017
Lily Eskelsen García: “The idea that the administration would even consider breaking apart families and putting children in danger by eliminating DACA is shameful”

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