During his first address to Congress last week, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass the immigration reform bill he introduced on the first day of his presidency. National PTA, too, calls on Congress to pass bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. More must be done to address the situation at our nation’s border.
This year, a record-breaking number of unaccompanied children have crossed the border. While they have been allowed to remain in the United States, many are being held in cramped shelters not suitable for children and are being held longer than allowed by law. The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement (Flores) lays out the protections and expectations regarding the detention, release and care of all children—both accompanied and unaccompanied undocumented children—arriving in the United States. It is essential that undocumented children—and all children—are adequately cared for and are treated with dignity and respect.
National PTA firmly believes that every child residing in the United States—regardless of their immigration status—has the right of access to adequate food and shelter, basic health care services and a high-quality public education. Two of our association’s founding principles are to promote the safety and well-being of all children and youth and to advocate for children and families who are most vulnerable. We remain committed to raising our voice for the children being held at the border.
National PTA urges policymakers to work together to address the situation at our nation’s border and the issue of immigration in a fair, appropriate and equitable way. Bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform is needed immediately.