Whereas, On June 15, 2012 President Obama announced an executive action, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that changed immigration policy to allow qualified young adults to remain in the country without the fear of deportation and grant temporary work permits; and
Whereas, according to a 2014 Pew Research estimate about 1.1 million young adults are eligible for DACA, according to 2017 National DACA Study, DACA has increased recipients’ hourly wages by an average of 69% giving them additional purchasing power which boosts economic growth, according to the same study 65% of respondents reported purchasing their first car, 16% of respondents purchased their first home, and research shows that DACA beneficiaries will contribute $460.3 billion to the U.S. GDP over the next decade; and
Whereas, on September 5, 2017 the Trump administration announced that it will rescind the program and phase it out over the next 2.5 years; and
Whereas, the looming threat to DACA by the Trump administration encouraged Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to introduce the Dream Act of 2017 in both houses of Congress; and
Whereas, passage of this legislation will reinforce the principles this country is founded on that we are a country that practices what we preach; e.g. liberty, and justice for all; and
Whereas, the Senate version of the Dream Act, introduced in July 2017, allows current, former, and future undocumented high-school graduates and GED recipients a three-step pathway to U.S. citizenship through college, work, or the armed services; and
Whereas, the Dream Act of 2017 would grant recipients an initial conditional permanent resident (CPR) status for eight years, to be eligible, applicants would have to:
- be undocumented, a DACA recipient, or a TPS beneficiary (people with final removal orders,
voluntary departure orders, or who are in removal proceedings would be eligible),
- have entered the U.S. before the age of 18,
- have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since at least four years before the date of the Dream Act’s enactment,
- have maintained continuous presence in the U.S. until the date they apply,
- meet the education requirement through one of these ways:
a. they’ve been admitted to a college, university, or other institution of higher learning, or
b. they’ve earned a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate, or
c. they are currently enrolled in a secondary education program to assist in obtaining a high school diploma or GED certificate,
- have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses,
- pass a medical exam,
- pass a background check; and
Whereas, anyone who maintains CPR status can obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) by satisfying the following requirements:
- not have abandoned their residence in the U.S;
- have done one of the following:
- acquired a degree from an institution of higher education, or
- completed at least 2 years in a bachelor’s degree program, or
- served for at least 2 years in the uniformed services, or
- been employed for periods totaling at least 3 years, at least 75 percent of which time was working with valid employment authorization. (If the person was not working, they must show that they were enrolled in school or an education program.)
- A hardship exception may be available for people who do not meet at least one of the four requirements listed immediately above;
- demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English and show a knowledge and understanding of U.S. civics;
- not have certain criminal convictions on their record.
- pass a background check; and
Whereas, the 2017 clean Dream Act would improve college affordability for undocumented students by repealing section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), which currently discourages states from making undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition or providing them other higher education benefits; and
Whereas, the clean Dream Act of 2017 will provide a 13-year pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth; let it be
Resolved, that AROS Houston supports the clean Dream Act of 2017 and stands in solidarity with all the undocumented young adults in our nation; and further
Resolved, that the AROS Houston schedule meetings, organize phone banks, and/ or send letters about the proposed legislation; and
Resolved, that AROS Houston requests for Congress to act and pass a clean version of the Dream Act of 2017 that includes no added enforcement; and further
Resolved, we recognize that these individuals are more than an immigration status, economic impact, or a nine-digit number, we fully recognize that we are talking about human lives and want our undocumented community to know that AROS Houston is here to support and serve them; and
Resolved, that the AROS Houston publicize to its members the importance of supporting this legislation;
Resolved, that copies of this resolution will be shared online and via social media.
Ms. Eleanor Chavez, Chair
Mr. Daniel Santos, Co-Chair
Join us for a workshop that will provide information about immigrant rights and protections on April 18, 2017 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.
Location: HFT Main Office, 2704 Sutherland Street, Houston, TX 77023
It’s time to move in a new direction as we search for new leadership in Houston ISD. Our school district needs a superintendent who will work together with educators, parents and community members to do what it takes to ensure a great school for every child.
The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools believe the next superintendent must stand together with students, schools and educators by supporting:
*A community schools model throughout HISD to give students and their families access to wrap around services to meet their social, emotional and health needs;
*An end to the teacher turnover crisis;
*A comprehensive teacher evaluation system centered on improving teaching and learning, rather than over-testing and punishing; and
*Greater transparency around district expenditures and contracts.
To ensure that the next superintendent is trusted by the community and can work with us for a better future for HISD, we urge you to appoint a community advisory committee that includes at least:
*an educator seat,
*a parent seat,
*a faith-based community seat,
*a seat from the business community, and
*a student seat.
A diverse community advisory committee can enhance and support the selection process by asking candidates important questions from a different point of view and informing candidates of issues that are valuable to the community.
We can start mending fences and rebuilding trust when we work together in good faith to help build public schools that all our children deserve.
On December 10, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act that replaces the previous version of the law, No Child Left Behind.
While the bill isn’t all that we had hoped for, it does eliminate some of the most damaging components of the previous law’s high-states testing and accountability regime and gets rid of the School Improvement Grants program, whose school closure, chartering and reconstitution requirements have destabilized Black and Brown communities across the country.
In rewriting ESEA, Congress maintained the commitment of federal funding to disadvantaged students and ended the use of standardized tests as the sole basis for accountability. But the most significant long-term change is that the new law devolves responsibility for how federal education dollars are used to the states. This provides both a threat and an opportunity for the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, as we push for the public schools that all our children deserve.
AROS has written a policy brief for our partner groups and allies that outlines some of the most critical components of ESSA for our work and begins to identify a path forward.
Public schools are public institutions.
Our school districts should be guided by a commitment to provide all children with the opportunity to attend a quality public school in their community. The corporate model of school reform seeks to turn public schools over to private managers and encourages competition—as opposed to collaboration between schools and teachers. These strategies take away the public’s right to have a voice in their local schools, and inherently create winners and losers among both schools and students. Our most vulnerable children become collateral damage in these reforms. We will not accept that.
This is an important economic issue that directly impacts our students’ lives. Please join us on November 10.