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DACA: Impact on the classroom

At a "Defend DACA" rally Tuesday night, numerous educators spoke up about how ending the program won't only impact individuals but entire communities. (CBS Austin)

Taking away DACA will also take some teachers out of the classroom. At a "Defend DACA" rally Tuesday night, numerous educators spoke up about how ending the program won't only impact individuals but entire communities.

The Texas State Teachers Association says about 2,000 Texas teachers are DACA recipients -- also known as DACA-mented. Some of those educators teach in Austin -- but when DACA goes away they won't be allowed to stay.

"I am here today very disappointed and very mad," said Montserrat Garibay of Education Austin.

"The time to be in the shadows and to be silent is over," said special education teacher Karen Reyes. Reyes' DACA expires next august and with the way things stand, she will not be able to renew. No DACA means no more teaching and likely deportation.

"I came when I was two years old. I know no other country but this one," she said. Reyes isn't alone.

"Teaching is my passion," said Areli Zarate a fourth year Austin ISD high school teacher. Zarate is one of four Austin educators in her family-- all DACA recipients.

"That's four teaching positions you're going to lose when our DACA expires," she said. Zarate said it bothers her when she sees state and national leaders say DACA recipients are taking American citizens' jobs--- especially when there is a teacher shortage in Austin and in Texas.

Education Austin says it's not just teachers but students and other young professionals who will lose their legal residency, too.

"So many of them are contributing to our society," said Education Austin President Ken Zarifis. An educator for 12 years, Zarifis said DACA-mented young people are an important part of our country's future.

"I've got a student that just became a civil engineer and within six months she could be looking at not being a civil engineer," he said. With President Trump pointing to Congress for immigration reform these dreamers say now's their time to push for change by holding rallies, informing their neighbors and talking to their legislators.

"It's a lot of work but if we all do a little piece-- do what you can do when you can do it and we'll all get it done," said Zarifis.

Tuesday Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton dismissed a 2015 lawsuit over DACA. He said in a statement:

"We dismissed our lawsuit after achieving victory on DACA and DAPA. Both programs originated from Obama-era executive action creating far-reaching, class-based 'deferred action' programs and granting lawful presence and attendant benefits to qualifying applicants, without congressional authorization," Attorney General Paxton said. "Our lawsuit was always about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy."

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