Wednesday I will stand on the West Lawn of our nation’s capitol with thousands of others and demand that a dream come true.
Congress isn’t Disneyland and I am not wishing on a star for Tinker Bell to wave a magic wand. It’s not that kind of dream.
Real dreams aren’t about magic. They’re about work and sacrifice and never giving up. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that his children would live in a world that judged them by the content of their character and not the color of their skin; That there would be a place for them in the country that they loved that simply offered them the same equal opportunity, as anybody else, to live their lives as far as their talents and hard work and luck would take them.
I was not neutral in this race. I see the re-election of President Obama as an important way forward for our students, preschool to graduate school. But the election is not the end. It’s the beginning of some very hard work.
First, we must pass the Dream Act. We must show compassion for the undocumented children who were brought here; who were educated here; who have stayed out of trouble and only want to work and study and be accepted in the only country many of them have ever known.
The issues of comprehensive immigration reforms are complicated. But I’m a teacher, and for me one thing is very simple: You never punish children for things beyond their control. The President did a very important thing in approving a change in visa regulations to allow a temporary safe harbor for the young “Dreamers” who would have qualified under the Dream Act, had Congress acted. But it is temporary. Congress must pass the Dream Act as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
Next, Congress must see the importance of Head Start as an equalizing factor for poor little boys and girls coming to kindergarten prepared to advance, hand in hand with their more advantaged friends. (more…)
Check out this article about the role the National Education Association along with High School teachers across the nation in helping DREAMers as they navigate the new immigration policy changes.
And Lily is quoted!
Educators should also choose their words carefully when talking with students about deferred action, says Lily Eskelsen, vice president of the National Education Association.
“We’re telling [teachers] to use words like ‘might’ and ‘you want to look into,’” she says. “The worst thing in the world for us to do is to somehow have a family believe that they have been promised something like a path to citizenship.”
The NEA is partnering with United We Dream, a youth-run advocacy group, to hold application clinics at schools and community colleges. The association is also working to curate information on funding resources for students who can’t afford the $465 application fee.
Read the full article here.