This letter was sent to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, and Jeh Johnson , Department of Homeland Security Secretary, on behalf of the League of Latino Educators:
Dear Secretary Burwell & Secretary Johnson,
On behalf of the League of Latino Educators (LLE) and our teacher members, I write to urge for the humane treatment of the unaccompanied migrant minors fleeing to your care. These minors are refugees in need of asylum. LLE opposes the expedited deportation of these minors and requests that their human rights be honored and protected. We condemn the actions of hate groups posing as patriots staging rallies and protests to stop busses and prevent migrants from accessing the rights afforded by our own laws.
As teachers, we welcome any student that walks into our classroom with open arms, no matter their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, income, family background or immigration status. We understand the challenge of meeting their diverse needs, but we wake up everyday determined to do what is right for these children, our children, and the future of our country. We strongly believe that our students are the thinkers, innovators, and leaders of tomorrow and that every child deserves an opportunity to achieve her or his full potential. Many of our LLE members, immigrants themselves, are shining examples of the power that education and opportunity have to change lives and whole communities.
We have known for years of children making the journey to reunite with family, escaping violence, hunger and persecution. The current humanitarian crisis gives us an opportunity to assert our beliefs and values as a nation and to do what is right. We must heed the call to act in a humane way to relieve the plight of the most vulnerable. Sending these innocent children back is to put them back into certain danger.
As the first point of contact for these children, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services officials must uphold their duties and moral obligation to the fullest extent. We acknowledge that it takes a village to care for our children. LLE teachers are ready to meet the call to serve them in our schools. We are not willing to give up on these kids. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” LLE teachers welcome child migrants with open hearts. We expect your office to do the same.
In the short term LLE urges for to the humane treatment and a fair opportunity for these children to access asylum. In the long term, LLE is committed to comprehensive immigration reform that focuses on family reunification and includes a pathway to citizenship for new Americans. We look forward to working with you to relieve this humanitarian crisis.
Braulio R. Carrasco
LLE Founder & President
The League of Latino Educators (LLE) is a network of classroom teachers and educational assistants dedicated to the betterment and academic success of all students, with a particular focus on Latino and immigrant youth. LLE was founded by teachers in Minnesota and gained broad support from many stakeholders. LLE is the first organization bringing together Latino teachers, school staff and other Latinos interested in the academic success of Latino students. Join us.