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Press Release

AEA Stands in Solidarity with DACA Students and Community

The Arizona Education Association and the AEA Latino Outreach Cadre stand united with our immigrant students and their families against the cruel and immoral actions taken by the White House in ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 
Published: September 5, 2017

Revoking DACA Tramples Our Core American Values

"Removing DACA protections for innocent children will harm our students and rip apart families in our communities," says AEA President Joe Thomas. "Public education for all is the cornerstone of opportunity in our nation. As a public school teacher, I have a responsibility to advocate for, as well as educate, every child in my classroom, regardless of their immigration status."

America was built by immigrants and is stronger because of our rich and diverse culture. Our immigration system needs to be modernized to make sure the process is more fair and efficient. We must do this while also ensuring our students are free from harm. 

"Every student should have the opportunity to go to school to learn and know they will be safe and without fear of deportation or being separated from their family," says AEA Vice President and Latino Outreach Cadre Chair Marisol Garcia. "The president’s actions hurt our children and do not represent American values."

Ending DACA is an attack on Arizona educators like Phoenix Union High School District Technology Educator, Hugo Arreola, who arrived in the United States with his family when he was two years old. He is proud to now be working in the same school district he graduated from. Dreamers like Hugo 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 Pablo, who was brought to the United States when he was ten and is now a student at Gateway Community College, working on his associate's degree with plans to transfer to Arizona State University and get a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability. Pablo’s dream is the become a scientist to help protect our planet for future generations.

AEA members and leaders 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 six months to permanently fix this decision. They should act immediately to protect DACA recipients and Dreamers by passing the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.


Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

With more than 20,000 members, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) is the labor union for public school employees in Arizona. AEA members are teachers, community college professors, counselors, speech pathologists, bus drivers, secretaries, retired educators and student teachers and they belong to more than 150 local affiliates across Arizona.