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NEA: Light at the end of the tunnel is a step closer for aspiring new Americans

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel: House of Representatives can make or break their dream

WASHINGTON - June 27, 2013 -

The U.S. Senate today approved bipartisan legislation to overhaul the nation’s broken immigration laws for the first time in decades. Educators have been unwavering, vocal advocates of commonsense immigration reform. The legislation includes a number of key provisions beneficial to students and families of aspiring new Americans that NEA supports.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel issued the following statement:

"The time is now to pass immigration reform. After years of waiting in the shadows of society, today millions of aspiring new Americans are a step closer to reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. We are pleased that the bipartisan Senate bill reflects our values and tradition as a nation of immigrants by creating a commonsense immigration process for aspiring Americans, one that includes a roadmap for them to become citizens, ensuring and promoting family unit, and including the DREAM Act.

"Immigration policy profoundly impacts NEA members and their students. We have witnessed for far too long the impact that the current broken immigration system has had on our students, their families, and communities. We know that providing students, including DREAMers, every opportunity to succeed is part of the fabric of our schools and communities. The Senate immigration reform bill upholds these principles to do right by children so they can achieve their full potential. As a country, we will continue to reap the benefits of their hard work, ingenuity, and achievements for years to come.

"We thank the Senate for its bipartisan work—especially the Gang of 8—to keep the bill moving forward. Now, the U.S. House of Representatives holds the key to open the door wide open for these aspiring new Americans. They can make or break their American dreams. We urge the Republican leaders to do what is right and just and follow in the footsteps of the Senate to swiftly pass immigration reform."

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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,


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