Statement from UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz

Last week, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was dealt another blow after Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen deemed the program illegal. While this decision didn’t revoke the program, it halted the application process for first-time applicants, leaving thousands of undocumented immigrants in limbo.

Ending DACA is a heartless and xenophobic move that threatens to rip more than 580,000 people, including children, from their families.

The program, established by the Obama administration more than a decade ago, has provided work permits and protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. California is home to more than 183,000 DACA recipients.

In Los Angeles, we have the largest home for DACA recipients in the country, including 26,500 of their U.S.-born children. Not only do these immigrants make up a third of our workforce, but they’re also LAUSD students, neighbors, family members, and friends.

While the future of the program has been ruled on by the Supreme Court three times in the past, this will be the first time that it will be ruled by a far-right Supreme Court. This ruling is one more attempt in a years-long battle to strip away the rights of hard-working immigrants who deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.

We demand the Biden Administration act vigorously to protect the hundreds of thousands of immigrants and the contributions they’ve been able to make to the US.

If we don’t act now, the GOP will continue to threaten the rights of marginalized communities, which will harm all of us in the long run.

As United Teachers Los Angeles, it is our rightful duty to stand with the immigrant rights community and all DACA recipients who continue to fight for their rights.

We will work tirelessly to ensure our DACA students, families, and educators are protected from this devastating action.