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Woman outside holding a sign that says "we are the future" in front of an American flag

Immigration Justice

Supporting Immigrant Families and Students
Let’s work together to create immigration policies that are humane, functional, and just.

How to use this toolkit

  • Learn about current immigration issues and the status of DREAMers and DACA recipients.
  • Find out how your school can become a safe zone for immigrant students and communities in the face of harsh immigration enforcement.
  • Take action for fair and just immigration policies.
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Where we stand


More than 18 million children under age 18 have a parent born outside the United States—and nearly 40 percent of them live in households where neither parent is a U.S. citizen. Dreamers, DACA recipients, individuals with temporary protected status, and other immigrants play a vital role in our economy and everyday lives.  

We support commonsense immigration reforms that include: 

  • Addressing the millions of students and young adults who were brought here as children by their parents 

  • Preserving family unity 

  • Creating a realistic, humane, and legal path to citizenship and strengthening labor protections for the aspiring citizens who call America home  

  • Ensuring that all individuals who arrive at our borders have a right to seek asylum 

  • Providing resources for mental health and migration-based trauma  

  • Fostering a welcoming environment for all children and educators, regardless of the language they speak or immigration status 

We are joining together with people across racial differences to demand fair and safe immigration processes for all families, just like we won civil rights in our past. We can make this a place that honors all families, no exceptions. 


How we speak about issues is of critical importance in activism. Use these narratives for creative and social media content, visuals, public messages, calls to action, spokesperson materials, and more.

3 Key Narratives

A Quality Education is a Constitutional Right

Immigration issues may seem complicated, but some things are simple. We must uphold the Constitutional right of all children in the United States to receive a K-12 education, regardless of their immigration status. We will not separate families. We must provide a trusted path to citizenship for immigrant Dreamers. We should provide resources for mental health and English language learners (ELLs). And we should achieve this through creating an immigration system that is humane, functional, and just.

Anti-Immigrant Policies are a Political Distraction

No matter what our immigration status is—or where we come from, what color our skin is, what language we speak, or how we worship—most of us work hard for our families and want to ensure their safety and well-being. But today, certain politicians want to distract us from their failures in governing by pointing the finger at new and undocumented immigrants and supporting overly harsh policies that harm all of us by criminalizing families for wanting safety and a better future. Instead of honoring immigrants’ courage and commitment, they endeavor to divide and distract us by generating fear based on race or place of origin.

Community Schools are a Lifeline for Immigrant Families

Across our country, public schools are welcoming places that nurture learning and create environments that foster growth and creativity. They also serve as resource hubs, connecting families with their communities and resources. 

How We're Supporting Immigrant Families

A child appears behind a fence

Educator Training

NEA and Education-Austin developed a PowerPoint training for educators to support immigrant students and their families.
DACAmented Educators outside the U.S. Supreme Court

Defending Dreamers

Immigrants play a vital role in our economy and lives. Learn how we are coming together to advocate for a path to citizenship for Dreamers.
activists protesting immigration policy with sign that says Here to Stay

DACA Ruled Unlawful by the Fifth Circuit. Here's What Happens Next.

A federal appeals court struck a major blow to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leaving thousands of recipients, including 9,000 educators, in limbo.
Alondra García
America is the only home I can remember, and yet I feel alienated and unwelcome. It’s mentally and emotionally draining to ... get people to understand that my family is as American as any other.
Quote by: Alondra García, Wisconsin, Second Grade Bilingual Teacher

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Make your Campus a Safe Zone

A pragmatic approach to immigration is critical for our students — the center of our communities. All students should have the opportunity to learn without the fear and distress that results from harsh immigration enforcement. Educators are witnessing the impact of this trauma on our students, their families and our communities firsthand. Many school districts are making their campuses “safe zones” for immigrant students and communities. You can be part of this movement.

Viridiana Castro Silva
We need a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. This would be such a victory for all of us and would solidify years of grassroots organizing.
Quote by: Viridiana Castro Silva, California, Aspiring Educator

Put Your School District on the Map

Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Omaha, Miami, Nashville, Pittsburgh… these are just a few of the scores of cities and communities across the country where school districts have passed their own safe zone resolutions. Click on the map below to see where school districts have passed or are considering Safe Zones policies to protect our immigrant students!

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
Becky Pringle at an immigration rally with a bullhorn

Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.