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TESOL Denounces Decision to End DACA, Calls on U.S. Congress to Act

by David Cutler | 09/06/2017
TESOL International Association has long advocated for common-sense and respectful immigration reform in the United States. We have recently released a new position statement on U.S. immigration reform and joined more than 50 organizations in a letter urging the President of the United States to maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which has provided work authorization and protection from deportation to undocumented young adults since 2012. To say that we are disappointed by President Trump’s decision to end DACA is an understatement. These 800,000 “dreamers” were brought to the United States as children and have called the country home for most of their lives. 

The vast majority of the young men and women who will be effected are either enrolled in school or have completed their education and have become skilled workers, fulfilling critical roles in the communities where they have put down roots. TESOL International Association respects and cherishes multiculturalism, integrity, and diversity. Ending DACA and potentially deporting 800,000 bright, young, and hardworking undocumented immigrants is an affront to our core values. 

DACA recipients often work closely with and learn from TESOL professionals. The anxiety resulting from uncertain citizenship status, school enrollment, or employment eligibility will undoubtedly strain the capacity of TESOL professionals to provide the guidance, advocacy, and emotional support that DACA recipients need. Furthermore, it is estimated that ending DACA will lead to thousands of vacancies in high-demand jobs across multiple industries, an estimated $60 billion loss in federal tax revenue, and a potential $280 billion blow to the growth of the U.S. economy over ten years. 

TESOL now calls on the U.S. Congress to act on this urgent matter, which threatens to upend the lives of 800,000 young people. We urge a bipartisan legislative solution that will support DACA recipients, specifically the passage of the DREAM Act, which will provide much needed relief for these young, undocumented immigrants who call the United States home.