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Educators Advocate for Support of Undocumented Students, Teachers with DACA Status

Educators Advocate for Support of Undocumented Students, Teachers with DACA Status

A recent post on the U.S. Department of Education’s blog by North Carolina English teacher Alice Dominguez discussed a session where educator advocates discussed the current situation of undocumented students in schools.

"Educators balanced their concerns for their undocumented and mixed-status students, while acknowledging the hope that they ultimately deserve,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez discusses the anxieties undocumented students face (think Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids) and how these anxieties prevent students from devoting time to academic pursuits.

Threat of deportation- especially given presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s aggressive anti-immigration rhetoric- coupled with financial barriers make it difficult for these students to pursue their dreams.

Educators also discussed how detrimental it would be to undocumented students to lose the inspiration they receive from being taught by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) qualifying teachers.

Organizations like Teach for American actively recruit recipients of DACA to work in classrooms because “[a] teachers is often the first adult an undocumented student will ask for help.”

DACA teachers can provide hope and inspiration to fellow undocumented children trying to emerge from living in the shadows to navigate the difficult landscape of pursuing a valuable education.

Unfortunately, DACA could be at the hands of the next President, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if an elected Donald Trump did not view the legislation so favorably.

"Since DACA is an executive order, the next President could remove it, making [teachers] ineligible to do exactly what they feel called to do — show their own undocumented students that their dream career is within reach,” Dominguez said.

But while Dominguez is not so sure that every politician will be committed to keeping every student’s best interest in mind, the session reminded her that countless educators stand by ready to support students despite the challenges they face.

"It’s always inspiring to meet teacher leaders from across the country, and in this case, I feel more supported knowing they’re committed to empowering our students in the face of the barriers imposed on them,” she said.

Read the full post.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/27/2016

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