SPONSORS: College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA), New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS), Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers - New York City (ATSS/UFT-NYC)
CO-SPONSORS: Human Rights Education Community (HREC), Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies (NSCSS), Oregon Council for the Social Studies (OCSS)
RATIONALE: NCSS has a stake in supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Dreamers program in that it directly affects our students and educator colleagues who are recipients of DACA, as well as reinforcing diversity advocacy that is part of NCSS policy.
WHEREAS: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directly affects our students and educator colleagues who are recipients of DACA; and
WHEREAS: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was implemented in 2012 to provide a two-year deferment of deportation activities and eligibility for a work permit for persons meeting established requirements; and
WHEREAS: the Migrant Policy Institute estimates that 1.9 million persons may be eligible under the program; and
WHEREAS: the USCIS has accepted 844,931 applications as of June 2016; and
WHEREAS: American Immigration Council estimates that approximately 426,329 school age immigrants (between 5 and 14) might meet the requirements of the deferred action initiative; and
WHEREAS: a majority of the people covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals were brought to the United States at a very young age and did not knowingly or intentionally violate the law. These residents were raised, schooled, and now work as if they were native-born Americans. Deporting them to a country in which they have not been raised and educated, and may not have close family, friends, or a sense of community would be dehumanizing and antithetical to the United States spirit of justice; and
WHEREAS: supporting DACA reinforces the diversity advocacy policy of NCSS; and
WHEREAS: teachers are tasked with providing a safe learning environment for all students regardless of immigration status and Schools must accept all students regardless of immigration status (Plyler v. Doe, 1982); and
WHEREAS: Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), stated online on Sept. 8, 2017: “We’re all grappling with the . . .. decision to end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. As educators, we must be prepared to help our colleagues and students directly affected by this decision” (adapted from AFT September 8, 2017); and
WHEREAS: recent administrative decisions are breaking the promise to DACAmented recipients; including teachers, school support staff, healthcare professionals and public service workers, all of whom are contributing to the fabric of their communities and are now at risk of deportation. (adapted from AFT September 8, 2017 statement); and
WHEREAS: DACA provides young people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and stop hiding in the shadows, recognizing that these are people who, in many cases, have no memory of any other country, but the United States, which they love. (adapted from AFT September 8 statement); and
WHEREAS: the DACA program allows young immigrants who were brought here as children to remain in the United States by protection from deportation and permission to legally work and the young people covered by DACA are woven into the fabric of American society and they contribute to our economic growth and our diversity (adapted from AFT September 8th statement); and
WHEREAS: DACA recipients love America, and many are now teaching in, defending or otherwise contributing to the country that is their home. The average current age of DACA recipients is 26; the average age they came to the United States is 4 years old (adapted from AFT September 8 statement); and
WHEREAS: offering protection to DACA immigrants was done based on the understanding that America is stronger when we value people and create opportunity to achieve the American dream, regardless of demography or geography (adapted from AFT September 8 statement); and
WHEREAS: National Education Association (NEA) president Lily Eskelsen García stated online on Sept 10: “We will continue to raise our voices in a collective chorus for justice to defend and protect Dreamers and their families. . .. [DACA] grants legal status for. . .. undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children;”
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: that NCSS support the continuation of the DACA (DREAMERS) program and the protection of children of undocumented immigrants; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the National Council for the Social Studies issue a position statement that includes the following:
- National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) does not support the Trump administration’s decision to discontinue the Dream Act and requests that the Trump administration or Congress correct this dehumanizing decision that has put many school children at risk.
- NCSS is committed to a safe, inclusive community and respects the rights and education and civil discourse of each community member, regardless of immigration status.
- NCSS does not support immigration enforcement actively interrupting the classroom, school property, and the community to question any school age child, regardless of immigration status.
- NCSS will not tolerate threats or acts of discrimination and its members will strive to sustain a safe, inclusive, and welcoming learning environment for all students and community members, regardless of immigration status; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that NCSS, through its website and publications, produce articles and learning strategies to provide further understanding of the DACA program and the protection of the children of undocumented immigrants.
Passed by House of Delegates, November 2017
Approved by NCSS Board of Directors March 2018