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Educators’ fight for commonsense immigration reform kicks into high gear

NEA supporters are urged to change social media profile picture to stand in solidarity with Dreamers

WASHINGTON - June 06, 2013 -

Tens of thousands of educators are jumping into action this week to advocate on behalf of millions of new American immigrants, including millions of Dreamers. The NEA Week of Action aims to put pressure on the Senate as a bipartisan immigration bill makes its way to the floor for debate in the coming days. NEA is a vocal, unequivocal advocate of commonsense immigration reform. For far too long educators have witnessed the harmful impact the current immigration system has had on students, and families around the country.

“Schools are winding down but our fight for commonsense immigration reform is kicking into high gear,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “With the passage of the landmark bipartisan bill out of a Senate committee, we have arrived at a critical point. Now is the time to make immigration reform a reality for these aspiring new Americans.”

NEA is urging the public to stand with Dreamers by changing their profile picture on social media to one called “Dreamers Welcome.” “Educators know Dreamers. They know their hopes and aspirations. And they are welcomed in our classrooms, schools and communities,” said Van Roekel. “This simple act is a visible and powerful way to show we stand with millions of families who contribute daily to making our country a better nation.” To obtain the image, please click here.

The week of action began in earnest over the weekend. In Austin, Texas, more than 100 parents, educators, and community members attended an immigration forum hosted by NEA’s local affiliate. Organizers provided information to attendees about where immigration reform stands in Washington and what they can do to make sure legislation includes a path to citizenship for those affected. During the next few days, educators, friends, and immigration reform allies will speak up for new Americans and make their voices heard loud and clear. In addition to taking to social and digital media, they will join NEA partners’ ongoing efforts, take to the streets and attend town-halls and rallies.

On Thursday and Friday, educators and supporters also will pick up the phone and call their Senators. “The Senate holds the key to making the American dream a reality for these aspiring new Americans,” said Van Roekel. “We will not rest until the Senate passes a commonsense fix to our broken immigration system that puts our values first, creates a reasonable immigration process, and moves the country forward together—because that’s what Americans want and aspiring citizens deserve.”

“We urge our friends to join us this week and in the weeks to come to make sure Congress moves swiftly on immigration reform,” said Van Roekel. “Our students and their families have lived in the shadows of society for way too long. The time is now for the Senate to take a bold step forward on behalf of millions of aspiring new Americans and help them reach the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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The National Education Association ( is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez, (202) 822-7823,



Education Votes: Immigration Reform