Defending DACA. It’s about our students. It’s about our colleagues

If I wasn’t so mad I would cry. Actually, I will probably cry anyway. Hearing that the Trump administration is considering ending DACA, a program that benefits our country and is vital to the lives of 800,000 young people, is infuriating. 

(If you don’t know much about DACA check out this link).

It seems that this administration is trying to go above and beyond to target, intimidate and create fear among our immigrant families and communities of color.

As educators and NEA members, defending DACA is personal. This is about our students and our colleagues.

This is about Texas teacher María Dominguez, who was brought to the United States before she was 10 because her father died. She has a master’s degree, she is a certified teacher, she is educating the next generation of Americans.  

This is about Diana who graduated with a master’s in divinity from Harvard University. She came to the United States with a visa, which her family lost when she was in first grade.

It’s about Saba Nafes, who is getting her PhD in mathematical biology and who was just named a Texas Tech University Innovation Fellow.

This is about Beni, who is getting his PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Merced. He was brought to America when he was 3. Let me repeat that: He was 3 years old! To blame him for his immigration status is ridiculous. To say he belongs in another country is unconscionable and cruel (especially if you are just doing this to fuel an anti-immigrant agenda, and since this is my blog I can say that). 

This is about Hu Hong, the youngest student body president ever elected at Laney College.

And about Rosa Vazquez who has been in this country since she was 8 months old. She became partially paralyzed as a teenager, and had to relearn how to walk, read and write at 15. Two years later she is going to Harvard University.

“You don’t need to be perfect to attain your dreams,” she told her local TV station. “You just need to want it enough to work hard enough to get there.”


(Yes, now I’m crying)


When you attack DACA you are attacking a wide spectrum of people with diverse talents, aspirations, and personal stories. You are attacking Riccy, a working mother of two in Kentucky; Roque a teacher, coach and community volunteer; Deyvid, a special education teacher from Utah who now creates apps;  and Ainee, a cancer survivor.

Our DACAmented brothers and sisters are integral threads in the fabric of our communities. They say the pledge of allegiance and sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” just like those who were born in the country we all call home.

 Eliminating DACA is yet another example of the deference to the white supremacist ideology that has been repeatedly exhibited by the Trump White House. The weight of such a decision can’t be understated.

The path forward for our country should include everyone who is ready to contribute, grow and enrich our future – and that includes the young people DACA seeks to protect. 

We strongly urge the White House to abandon this wrong-headed and dangerous course. It’s un-American and it’s immoral.

 The urgency of this moment is fierce. Members of our communities, families in our churches, and students and educators in our schools will face the worst circumstances imaginable if we do not speak up and let decision makers know that ending DACA is unacceptable.

We must raise our voices in a collective chorus for justice to defend our DACAmented brothers and sistersMake your voice heard and stand in solidarity with students and educators to #DefendDACA

I hope that you will join us.


(More resources on protecting immigrant students can be found here.)

2 Responses to “Defending DACA. It’s about our students. It’s about our colleagues”

  1. James

    Become a citizen legally and there are no problems…

    • Ellen


      Please review you educational law and professional conduct coursework. LAU vs. established citizenship is not a requirement for education.


Leave a Reply