TESOL Welcomes the President’s Efforts to Support Immigrant Families

by User Not Found | 11/26/2014
A statement from TESOL Executive Director Rosa Aronson, PhD, CAE, on President Obama's recent actions to aid immigrant families.
The TESOL field, along with other educators who work with English learners, has always been dedicated to expanding opportunities for all students, and for valuing the contributions learners bring to the classroom from their families and backgrounds. Because students’ home lives have a tremendous impact on their education, TESOL International Association welcomes the recent announcement by the Obama administration to keep families together by expanding the eligibility of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and extending administrative relief to parents and families of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

After its implementation two years ago, the DACA program has helped an estimated 700,000 students stay in the United States. However, the threat of deportation still casts a dark shadow over many others. Current immigration policies are intended to bring families together, not tear them apart, so these new actions by the administration are not only necessary; they are simply the right thing to do.

However, these actions are still only a temporary fix. Almost 18 months have passed since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform proposal, yet action in the U.S. Congress has stalled since then, with no indication it will be completed before the 113th Congress adjourns later this year. TESOL International Association strongly urges the U.S. Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill that supports students and families, and creates opportunities and pathways to citizenship for the more than 11 million individuals making significant cultural, economic, and societal contributions to the United States.