NSBA Executive Director & CEO Thomas J. Gentzel released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
Alexandria, Va. (September 5, 2017) – "Public schools are a beacon of hope and opportunity for students and our country. The schools in our neighborhoods have educated generations of children, regardless of factors such as race, ethnic background, and immigration and socioeconomic status, enabling them to contribute to our economy and strengthen our democracy.
Since the first public school was founded, they have gladly accepted the immense responsibility given to them to help students achieve their full potential. Today, our schools are educating the most diverse student population in history, providing equitable access and ensuring that all students are educated at levels no previous generation attempted to achieve.
Public schools continue to make progress in helping students prepare for college, careers and life. However, progress is threatened if students are fearful of coming to school. NSBA is deeply concerned by the Administration's decision to end the DACA program. We're long-standing supporters of educating all students regardless of immigration status. Now that the issue is solely before Congress, we urge it to amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to authorize the cancellation of removal, resolve immigration status, and work toward U.S. citizenship of undocumented students who are long-term residents."
NSBA Position: NSBA supports federal education policies that make the education of all children a national priority, while recognizing that education is primarily a state and local function for which the federal role should be one of support and assistance rather than direct regulation. Specifically, NSBA urges Congress to amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to authorize the cancellation of removal, resolve immigration status, and work toward U.S. citizenship of undocumented students who are long-term residents. Federal legislation and policies should recognize the impact of federal immigration policies on local public education and fully fund the additional programs and services that are required because of these policies.