We are outraged—and committed to action. The Administration’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in six months will remove protection from more than 800,000 people who came to our country as children and are now studying, working, and contributing to our communities. We have students, alumni, staff members and neighbors who are directly threatened by this. We will fight for them.
What We’ve Done
After 18 years of doing this work, it is clear to us that creating and sustaining great public schools matters tremendously to our scholars and communities. It is equally clear that the work we do is necessary but not sufficient. Our love for our scholars and our commitment to our communities has to go beyond the walls of our schools. We have to advocate for more than just “education reform”—we have to advocate for our kids and families.
That’s why we have been expanding the issues we advocate for as leaders, and, more importantly, increasing our support of our families and staff to advocate for the issues central to their lives. With many of you, we joined in stating the obvious: Black Lives Matter. We spoke out against Trump’s draconian Education Budget, and his absurd remarks about “many sides” when one side is racist. We joined with many other education leaders in signing an open letter to protect immigrants. We’ve held trainings to ensure our staff and families understand their rights. We are especially proud to stand up with all the members of the AF Team & Family who have joined marches, rallies, petitions and call-in efforts on issues that are important to them.
What We Won’t Do
We won’t stop until DACA and Dreamers are safe.
What else won’t we do? We won’t ask the immigration status of our scholars or those of their family members. We will keep what information we do have about immigration status confidential, and we will not grant access to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We won’t let anything stand in the way of protecting our teachers and students.
What We Will Do
We will send communications home to all families reiterating our commitment and connecting them with resources they need to navigate this scary time. And we will keep fighting. We have a precious six-month window to get Congress to take action, and you will hear our voices loudly. Alongside other charter leaders, Dacia Toll and Fatimah Barker are headed down to D.C. to lobby members of Congress personally. And we ask that you join us in calling your representatives and making it clear that revoking DACA is cruel, immoral and un-American. Tell your elected officials to sign into law The DREAM Act of 2017. Urge your friends and family to do the same. Share and read this important Immigrant Legal Resources Center guide on what will happen if DACA ends.
When you’re asked if you know someone protected by DACA, affirm that you do. We are Achievement First. We know them because we are them.
We must come together as Team & Family and fight for what is right. Today more than ever, we need your help. Please join us.
Doug McCurry and Dacia Toll are the co-CEOs of Achievement First.