September 5, 2017
It is with great conviction that the Arizona Latino School Board Association (AzLSBA) stands firmly opposed to the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. Our opposition to the repeal of the DACA program is founded on humanitarian, public safety and economic principles.
Nearly 28,000 Arizonans - who were educated in our schools, raised in our neighborhoods and are valuable parts of the social and economic fabric of our community - are DACA recipients. DREAMers are brilliant, law-abiding, entrepreneurial, ambitious, family oriented Arizonans that understand the importance and value of community service.
By removing DACA protections from our family members, our students, our neighbors and our friends, the Trump administration is forcing thousands of educated, law abiding, and taxpaying immigrants back into the shadows. This will undermine cooperation with law enforcement and could make DREAMers targets of crime and fraud by criminals who would exploit their fear of being deported.
Repealing DACA also impacts those who have come to rely on DACA recipients. Ninety-five percent of DACA recipients are employed. They serve as soldiers, teachers, caregivers, and hundreds of other occupations that provide essential services to our community and loved ones. Nationally, employers will have to fire nearly 7,000 DACA recipient employees every week for the next two years, at a cost of $61 million a week for recruiting, hiring and training 720,000 new hire replacements.
In response to the repeal, AzLSBA President Martín Quezada said, “The future of our nation requires political leaders to have the bravery to do the right thing. In our schools, we teach all of our children that it is always the right time to do the right thing. It’s time for our nation’s leaders to set that example for the entire nation, and do right by our nation’s DREAMers.”
Today’s announcement is certainly troubling for us all, but especially for those directly impacted. The AzLSBA board encourages you to find ways to connect with your communities so you can address their concerns. Your school board may also want to bring the letter below to the attention of your superintendent and ask they consider signing on.