Educators weigh in as Supreme Court considers Dreamers’ case

Many educators from around the country, including members of NEA and TSTA, were in Washington on Tuesday for the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The court is expected to issue a ruling next year, deciding the future of several hundred thousand immigrants, or Dreamers, brought to the country illegally as children. More than 100,000 call Texas home.

Then-President Obama created the DACA program to allow the Dreamers to remain in the United States, the only country most of them have ever known, but President Trump tried to end it two years ago. Trump’s order was blocked by several federal judges, and the Supreme Court is considering the Trump administration’s appeal.

Many of the Dreamers are educators, including TSTA member Karina Alvarez, a second-grade teacher in Edgewood ISD in San Antonio, who was at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. She spoke to the crowd outside the courtroom of her students who are learning English and of their fear the day after Trump won the 2016 election.

According to U.S., Alvarez told the crowd, “One of my students said, ‘Will I have to go back to Mexico, because the leader of this country doesn’t like Mexico?’”

In an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court on behalf of the Dreamers, NEA argued that the deportation of DACA recipients would harm schools because some 9,000 teachers could be deported and abruptly disappear from classrooms, while thousands of additional Dreamers working toward teacher certification also would no longer be available.

“Educational institutions across the country rely on thousands of DACA educators to help remedy significant teacher shortages, provide mentorship and role models to students, and diversify the teacher corps,” NEA said.

Schools fear deportation of DACA recipient teachers

Listen to an immigrant teacher’s story and his concerns for his immigrant students