Washington, DC – A must-read article from Gabe Ortiz of Daily Kos, highlights one of the potentially devastating effects of the potential end of DACA: thousands of existing K-12 teachers across America being forced out of an essential job at a time when we already face an acute teacher shortage.
Read Gabe Ortiz, “Thousands of teachers could be pushed out of their jobs due to GOP litigation seeking to end DACA” online and find key excerpts below:
“If Republicans get their way, thousands of educators like Maria Rocha will be pushed out of their jobs teaching our nation’s children. She’s among the estimated 9,000 educators who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The successful and popular policy protects beneficiaries from deportation, but also allows them to work legally.
Republicans have been steadily working to end this policy through litigation, and they’ve been succeeding thanks to their anti-immigrant judges. The program’s future is, frankly, quite grim, and without legislative action, Rocha and 9,000 educators will be among the hundreds of thousands of immigrants pushed out of the work force and left vulnerable to deportation.
…The GOP’s opposition to passing humane immigration legislation has immense human costs, and immense economic costs. A coalition of top businesses and business leader have warned that should Republicans succeed in their efforts, an estimated 22,000 DACA recipients could lose their work permits every single month. Ultimately, DACA’s end would result in half a million lost jobs and cost our economy nearly $12 billion. The businesses are urging congressional leaders to act before the end of the year.
“The worker shortage will get worse for the United States if hundreds of thousands of critical workers are stripped of their legal ability to support themselves and their families,” they continued. That includes Rocha, who has taught students pre-K through sixth grade and worked as a nanny and housekeeper before becoming an educator.
“I saw the lack of teachers that looked like me, that were from my community, that related to the students,” she said in the report. “There’s a science behind teaching. I’m fascinated with teaching kids how to say thank you, how to blow your nose, how to start reading.”
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Once again, the Republican Party is putting politics ahead of what is best for our communities and nation. This time, extreme Republican positions against Dreamers who are teachers are undermining the education of American children. The prospect of thousands of valued teachers being forced to leave their classrooms or even leave the nation should motivate Congress before year’s end to pass permanent protections to address Dreamers’ plight and prevent an avoidable catastrophe for American education and the economy.
Whether we will deliver on a popular and essential legislative solution for Dreamers is a moment of truth for the GOP moderates who say they support Dreamers, support education and support economic growth. This is a test about the will and functioning of Congress and whether our government can set aside partisan division after the election to get something done that is both supported by the American people and will help students thrive.”
- National Education Association News article on K-12 teachers with DACA: https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/whats-it-be-undocumented-educator
- Center for American Progress report on DACA recipients by state and occupation information: https://www.americanprogress.org/article/the-demographic-and-economic-impacts-of-daca-recipients-fall-2021-edition/
- Teach for America tweet highlighting K-12 teachers with DACA: https://twitter.com/TeachForAmerica/status/1564661231419539459