|Back to August Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 259||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||AUGUST 2007|
|NEA Supports Illegal Aliens|
This year the NEA clarified its position on immigration reform, now stating more clearly than ever that it favors amnesty and free public education for illegal, or "undocumented," immigrants and their children. A new portion of the NEA's legislative program on immigration expresses the Association's support for "comprehensive immigration reform that rejects the criminalization of undocumented immigrants and those who work with them, including educators."
Another portion of the NEA program had previously called for reform that "may include a path to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States. That portion now calls for reform that "includes [not "may include"] a path to permanent residency, citizenship, or asylum" for such immigrants. The Association made interesting changes to a clause that had called for a legal immigration system which "protects national security, human rights, and civil liberties." "National security" fell by the wayside in the 2007 version. The program now calls for a system that "advances and protects the public interest, human rights, civil liberties, and due process."
NEA also added a clause calling for legislation to simplify the naturalization process for legal immigrants. The NEA arrived at its new stance "after a lot of internal discussion with our Hispanic Caucus" and "a lot of input," a top NEA lobbyist told the Washington Times.