AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, authority over immigration rests exclusively with the federal government; and

WHEREAS, the Arizona State Legislature passed SB 1070, which the Arizona Governor, signed into law; and

WHEREAS, SB 1070 requires the police "when practicable" to detain people they "reasonably suspect" are in the country without authorization, allows the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents, and will inevitably lead to racial profiling, jeopardize public safety, and create a wedge between law enforcement and ethnic communities; and

WHEREAS, President Barack Obama has stated that SB 1070 threatens "to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe"; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has a long and proud tradition of advancing social justice and civil rights and of fighting to give not only teachers, but all Americans, access to a better life; and

WHEREAS, the AFT is committed to providing an educational environment that embraces differences and diversity, enabling all students to reach their full educational potential regardless of citizenship status; and

WHEREAS, the AFT executive council unanimously condemned Arizona's banning of ethnic studies; and

WHEREAS, SB 1070 is in sharp contrast to the AFT's goal to provide equal access to educational opportunities for all, which in return enriches the quality of life of students, particularly those who have been disadvantaged or underserved; and

WHEREAS, the actions supported and promoted by SB 1070 potentially put AFT members and staff at risk, while traveling to Arizona, of being targeted under this law because of their appearance, ethnic heritage or for failing to carry with them immigration documents regardless of whether they are citizens, legal permanent residents, temporary visa holders, or undocumented:

RESOLVED, that until Arizona rescinds SB 1070 or the law is otherwise ruled to be unenforceable, the American Federation of Teachers will to the extent practicable not hold any national or regional meetings in Arizona or send members or staff to any national or regional conferences, held in Arizona; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT president will communicate with Congress and the governor of Arizona calling their attention to our grave concern for these violations of civil and human rights and banning ethnic studies, urging them to join the struggle to repeal the legislation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT communicate its position to members of Congress to advance and support comprehensive federal immigration reform legislation that respects the due process protections of all individuals in the United States and provides a path to citizenship.