President Trump’s decision today to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an indefensible slap in the face of tens of thousands of hardworking Illinois students and their families, and a move designed to pander to the uninformed and the bigoted. The Chicago Teachers Union stands in support and solidarity with the 800,000 DACAmented youth in the U.S., the DACAmented CTU members working in our schools, and the thousands of former, existing and future students who qualify for protection under DACA.
We cannot choose to protect Dreamers but deport their parents, just as we must not pick and choose who we protect among any group in this nation: rich or poor; Black, brown or white; undocumented or born on U.S. soil. Yet Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has—like some in Washington—also endorsed policies that divide our communities into good and bad immigrants, while pretending to defend all.
We call on Emanuel to make our public schools true sanctuaries by ending chronic cuts that endanger and undermine our students, and fully funding the new state education formula with sustainable, equitable sources of revenue. Only then can we support students at places like Kelly High School, which has been forced to lay off counselors who’ve helped countless undocumented youth. We also call on Emanuel to pull back his new high school graduation requirements, which derail the ability of undocumented youth without DACA to find work or enroll in college.
We call on CPS not to purge DACAmented workers, and to instead sign onto the sanctuary schools resolution and increase protection for all students and their families. And we call on our union members to continue to organize to create sanctuary schools that increase protections for all of our students, documented and undocumented, and of all races, ethnicity, gender and orientation.