Teach For America (TFA) is “actively recruit[ing]” illegal aliens who have been granted temporary deportation through the unconstitutional DACA program. After one month of TFA summer training the “DACAmented teacher” can be placed in a Tennessee public school.
Over one hundred “DACAmented” trainees are currently teaching in schools around the U.S. to date, and TFA is actively working to find more schools that are willing to employ illegal aliens who were given temporary work permits.
In 2006, Memphis began partnering with TFA and three years later, Metro Nashville Public Schools followed. In 2014, the Islamic Center of Nashville whose president Rashed Fakhruddin helps train Metro middle and high school teachers, hosted TFA recruits at the mosque.
Passionate about supporting the “DREAM Act” and educating “undocumented students,” TFA tells its DACAmented recruits that a personal story of living in the U.S. illegally can influence students :
Picture standing in front of a classroom, having grown up undocumented. Imagine having the opportunity to share your story from fearing deportation to the day you graduated from college, and what it was like to get admitted to Teach For America. Think about the impact your story could have on your students, both those born in the United States and those who weren’t.
TFA doesn’t call their trainees teachers; they are called “classroom leaders” and are encouraged to display the “Unafraid Educator” poster and other “safe space visuals” in their classrooms to demonstrate their support for illegal immigration.
“DACAmented” is a deliberately deceptive term used to suggest that a DACA grantee who has deferred deportation is no longer an illegal alien for purposes of immigration status. However, DACA eligibility requires an applicant to have entered the country illegally and USCIS states unequivocally that “[d]eferred action does not provide lawful status” meaning that a DACA grantee remains an illegal alien.
The core of TFA’s mission is to right the wrong of “systemic lack of equity for kids in low-income communities:”
There are numerous forces behind this injustice—racism, outdated policies, lack of resources, and much more—so there isn’t just one simple fix. To make things right we must come together as students, teachers, principals, activists, social entrepreneurs, politicians, and all others to disrupt the causes of injustice and create solutions.
In Tennessee, “DACAmented” illegal aliens who complete TFA’s one-month training receive a transitional teaching license. Additional licensure requirements are completed during the school year. TFA requires a two year commitment from its trainees which conveniently coincides with DACA’s two year temporary deferral from deportation.
Critics of TFA say that scarce professional development resources are being unwisely invested in people who aren’t likely to continue teaching. The 2015 Report Card of the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs evaluating Nashville’s ninety-six placed TFA trainees shows less than one-hundred percent complete the first or even the second year of their teaching commitment which continues to fall off in years three and four.
The National Educators Association and the American Federation of Teachers support illegal aliens with DACA work permits and deferred deportation teaching in public schools. In 2015, the Obama White House honored nine “DACAmented” teachers as “Champions of Change” one of whom teaches Spanish for native Spanish speakers in a Denver high school where over fifty percent of the students are Latino:
I have worked tirelessly to create a space for my students to celebrate who they are and where they come from. This past year I saw my students explore their native language and culture, and engage in thoughtful discussions about issues their community is facing, such as poverty, workers’ rights, immigration, education and discrimination.
I have also come to realize the power that sharing my personal story can have on my students and my community.
The “DREAM Act of 2017” which TFA supports would apply to a broader group of DREAMers than just current DACA beneficiaries. “DREAMers” and DACA grantees are typically characterized as young children brought to the U.S. illegally although they also arrive unaccompanied. Many DACA grantees are in their early thirties and USCIS has disclosed that more than 1,500 DACA recipients had their status revoked for gang membership or having committed a crime.
In 2015, Tennessee state Sen. Todd Gardenhire and Rep. Mark White tried to pass a bill giving in-state college tuition to DACA grantees. That bill passed the Senate, but failed by a single vote in the House. Another attempt at in-state tuition by these two legislators failed again during the 2017 session but their second bill bringing the same result through a different mechanism, will be decided in the 2018 session.