U.S. Could Lose an Estimated 20,000 Teachers, Many Bilingual, as DACA Is Phased Out

Stay strong. Luis Juarez, a Dallas fifth-grade teacher, knew that was his only choice.“The moment parents see me break down and lose hope, they are going to lose hope. They know if Mr. Juarez still has hope, they are going to have hope, too.”And, yet here it was. For Juarez and many others, a dreaded announcement: On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump’s administration said it would phase out DACA, the Obama-era initiative that gives the children of unauthorized immigrants, many who were brought here illegally, a reprieve from deportation and the right to work.Trump’s decision sent a chill through immigrant communities, even as he challenged Congress to pass a law to allow DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, to legally remain in the country. If those legislative efforts fail, the end of DACA will affect more than just children, college students and their families.It will mean teachers like Juarez could be deported, too.Texas stands to lose about 2,000 teachers who are in the DACA program, and as many as 20,000 such teachers would be affected nationwide. The clock is ticking, and without a legislative reprieve, within a few years it will be illegal for these teachers to work in the U.S. Their loss would hit bilingual education, where there’s a constant dearth of educators, especially hard.Juarez, a 26-year-old math and science teacher at Lipscomb Elementary, teaches in a school where many students are from immigrant families. He speaks English and Spanish.“My hope is that they see myself in their shoes,” he said. “That they work to prove to their parents that they made the right decision to to come to this country.”  Continue reading...

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