This is Why I Fight for Immigrant Youth & Kids Around the Nation

May 23, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) issued the following statement following his exchange with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during yesterday’s Education and the Workforce Committee hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Education.

“If a principal or a teacher finds out that a certain child is undocumented, or his or her family members are undocumented, we MUST do whatever it takes to ensure the student's safety and protection from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, especially in a learning environment and within our nation’s educational system. I am outraged and highly concerned following Secretary Betsy DeVos comments during yesterday’s Education and the Workforce Committee hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Education,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13).

“Protecting the rights of students should be a top priority and fundamental pillar of our system, and the Department must do all that it can to promote and ensure federal protections for all students. When this doesn't happen, we fail and our country suffers. Following her testimony, one thing is very clear to me, and that is Sec. Betsy DeVos is unqualified to lead the U.S. Department of Education, and her reckless statements regarding undocumented youth, not only conflict with the law, but will lead to fear and intimidation among immigrant students across the country.

“This is why I will continue my fight to ensure equality, fairness and opportunity for our students, immigrant youth, and the future of our nation,” he concluded.

WATCH Clip of Rep. Espaillat during the DeVos testimony.

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his first term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business.  He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Freshman Representative to the Democratic Caucus. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.  Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at Candace.Person@mail.house.gov