As educators, we have one mission: provide our children with the means to become their best selves. And in Arizona, our largest student majority is Hispanic, the vast majority of those students are citizens of Arizona and the United States, and 100% of those students are our students. We are invested in them for life.

The DACA program came about by executive action after decades of congressional inaction over how to secure the lives of the children who came to these United States with their families. It may well have been a suboptimal process, but it was an absolutely correct aspiration. We urgently hope for rapid congressional action that will secure these young people’s lives as Americans.

It is an honor and a privilege to work in education to the betterment of individuals; and educators seek this for all, always. Our educational mission lies outside these questions, and is focused on the children inside our doors. But doors and shared convictions do not keep the voice of danger and uncertainty away. We truly hope that our teachers, principals, students, and families can also hear the voices of those who embrace their presence and valued participation in our shared communities.

I have been deeply gratified by our leadership’s comments on the critical importance of DACA, and its ability to strengthen our families, our communities, and our economy. These things are of a piece.

It has been a difficult time for so many of our families, and makes me so grateful for the leadership at the A for Arizona project, our senators and the LIBRE Initiative who spoke for us this week. I hope you might be able to share these voices with your colleagues, students and families.

“…I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know. The federal government has a responsibility to defend and secure our borders, but we must do so in a way that upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation…” – U.S. Senator John McCain

It should be evident from the fear and confusion surrounding DACA that executive actions have a short-shelf life and are a poor substitute for permanent, bipartisan legislation to fix our broken immigration system. The ball is back in Congress’ court where it belongs, and there are a lot of innocent kids counting on Congress to do its job…” – U.S. Senator Jeff Flake

This is the time now that we need Congress to act. We have a window of opportunity here to change DACA status and realize that the economic impact on the United States as well as in Arizona is going to be dramatic if we don’t take action and solve the challenges we are faced with related to those that are here undocumented and came as children through no fault of their own.” – Lea Marquez Peterson, President & CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Today’s announcement was made without wisdom and without compassion. Congress needs to act with urgency and advance a policy for the DACA-eligible population that is consistent with American values.” – Glenn Hamer, President & CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry

For the hundreds of thousands of immigrants directly affected by DACA, the uncertainty of their legal status continues to undercut their future. They know no other home than the United States. They were brought here through no fault of their own, and are now pursuing educational opportunities, or otherwise contributing to the economy and their communities.” – Daniel Garza, President of the LIBRE Initiative