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Posted on January 26, 2017 by Christine Crosby in anti-immigrant, education, NEA, Trump

NEA President Believes Anti-Immigrant Agenda Undermines America’s Core Values

According to Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association anti-immigrant actions would drive aspiring Americans further into shadows of society

President Donald Trump began rolling out his anti-immigrant agenda this week and the president of The NEA, had this to say, ““Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda attacks our students, our neighbors, our friends—these are aspiring Americans who are working hard every day to make life better for their families, their communities and our country. His divisive and discriminatory actions instill fear in them and drive them further into the shadows of society.

Photographer: Ron Sachs/Pool via Bloomberg

“Yesterday, we saw the Trump administration issue two harmful Executive Orders. One is an attempt to pressure localities to devote their critical staff and resources to doing the work of federal immigration officers, a policy that would discourage community cooperation with law enforcement. The other would divert an enormous amount of federal funding to building a ‘border wall’ – an infeasible and ineffective project – at a time when our children are in need of those critical resources in their schools and communities. Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda is in direct conflict with what we hold dear as a nation. These Executive Orders begin a deliberate and coordinated attack on those who come to America seeking safety, freedom, and opportunity and, in the process, make America a better country.

“We oppose these extreme actions because they are a drastic departure from our core American values. As the Trump administration threatens our students and our way of life, we will double-down on our efforts to protect the right of all students to a public-school education—no matter where they live or where they’re from.

“His ill-conceived, extreme plans to isolate us from the rest of the world dangerously undermine our identity as a nation and our values as Americans. Educators know that how we treat our new immigrants reflects our commitment to the values that define us. We believe that families should stick together, that we should look out for each other, and reward hard work.

“There are opportunities for effective and serious approaches to make sure that the immigration system works for all of us, one that better represents our values and rich tradition of welcoming and embracing aspiring Americans. Already, there’s bipartisan, bicameral effort to extend three years of protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and DACA-eligible DREAMERS, people who came to the United States as children, through the BRIDGE Act. In addition, there are educators and communities across the country creating and implementing policies like public school safe zones where all students are welcome.

“In the end, these ill-advised and dangerous executive actions provide no long-term solutions. In fact, plain and simple, they are attacks. We continue to call on Congress and the Trump administration to do what is right for our students, their families, and our communities. We support a long-term plan to ensure our immigration system works for all of us.”

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association. Welton Doby / NEA/Welton Doby

Keep up with the conversation at #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 www.nea.org

NEA’s Vision, Mission, and Values

We, the members of the National Education Association of the United States, are the voice of education professionals. Our work is fundamental to the nation, and we accept the profound trust placed in us.

Our Vision
Our vision is a great public school for every student.

Our Mission
Our mission is to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.

Our Core Values
These principles guide our work and define our mission:

Equal Opportunity. We believe public education is the gateway to opportunity. All students have the human and civil right to a quality public education that develops their potential, independence, and character.

A Just Society. We believe public education is vital to building respect for the worth, dignity, and equality of every individual in our diverse society.

Democracy. We believe public education is the cornerstone of our republic. Public education provides individuals with the skills to be involved, informed, and engaged in our representative democracy.

Professionalism. We believe that the expertise and judgment of education professionals are critical to student success. We maintain the highest professional standards, and we expect the status, compensation, and respect due all professionals.

Partnership. We believe partnerships with parents, families, communities, and other stakeholders are essential to quality public education and student success.

Collective Action. We believe individuals are strengthened when they work together for the common good. As education professionals, we improve both our professional status and the quality of public education when we unite and advocate collectively.

NEA also believes every student in America, regardless of family income or place of residence, deserves a quality education. In pursuing its mission, NEA has determined that we will focus the energy and resources of our 3.2 million members on improving the quality of teaching, increasing student achievement and making schools safer, better places to learn.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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