Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would ultimately require 800,000 undocumented DREAMers who grew up in the United States as children, and their families, to leave the country.
This decision is antithetical to the values we support as an organization and the beliefs we hold professionally, but also personally as well. I am the daughter of immigrants, as many of us are, Elsa an immigrant herself. It’s impossible to ignore the impact this decision has on our work. But for many of us, this is also deeply personal.
The Coalition comprises charter schools that not just welcome, but champion all forms of diversity, including racial, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. The decision to end DACA sends the wrong message to the schools serving kids in our districts, cities and towns. It runs counter to everything we believe and know–that diverse schools provide greater opportunities for students to learn from one another; that it boosts student achievement for all students and strengthens neighborhoods by bringing community members together; that diversity promotes the celebration and understanding of other cultures and viewpoints.
It could have a direct and devastating impact on members of our community, including the teachers, staff, role models, and leaders in our schools. Perhaps most egregious, the decision sends the message that, as a country, we do not believe in serving all students equally, that students from different backgrounds should not have the same high quality educational opportunities.
We need to take action. If we can’t protect the weakest and most vulnerable in our country, then we can’t protect anybody. We need to support these students not because it’s the convenient or easiest thing to do, but because it is the right thing to do, and because it is reflective of who we are.
As a coalition, we will continue to support diverse charter schools and their students, regardless of their status. We urge you to contact your congressional representatives to send the message that you stand up for these students and support the DREAM Act. Now it’s up to them to make the decision of what happens to these kids. We have to make a concerted effort to protect them in whatever way possible.