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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Illegal immigrants’ children can access public education; let’s keep it that way

Since 1918, every state in the U.S. has recognized public education’s purpose to improve and offer hope to the next generation of people living in America.

In fact, it’s unconstitutional to deny students access to school based on the legal status of their parents. This is important because although illegal immigrant issue won’t solve itself any time soon, children need to be educated in order to have a successful future, regardless of national borders.

Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed on May 8 that public schools cannot ask for proof of immigration status when enrolling students. Holder has had to remind states like Alabama, which was requiring parents to present Social Security numbers or driver’s licenses to enroll their children in school, that it is in violation of the 1982

Supreme Court decision of Plyer V. Doe. The ruling states that under the 14th amendment all people, not citizens, can enjoy equal rights and protection under the law.

According to the law, school districts that schools can only require proof of residence in order to enroll students (e.g., a utility bill or lease agreement).

It’s important to uphold this ruling because education is the key to the future generation’s success— not just for finding a well-paying job, which is nearly impossible without a college education, but for finding new solutions to the world’s persisting problems like poverty, disease and green energy.

The fact is, the future matters to everyone regardless of their legal status. It’s ridiculous to bar 4.5 million people from the opportunity to making a difference based on the legal status of their parents — something the children had no control over.

Yes, illegal immigrants do swallow resources and tax money but they would do so anyway by staying in America. But most of their children were born in the U.S., which  grants them the right to education under the law.

Illegal immigration is a can of worms there’s no easy solution to. Roughly  11.7 million people can’t simply leave the country with the flick of the wrist.

If kids are in school, it keeps them off the streets and they’re less likely to fall in with gangs or drugs. Also, it provides them a way out of the lower class with job opportunities. Anyone, no matter what nationality, should have the ability to provide for themselves.

Many illegal immigrants are unable to find high-paying jobs due to either their lack of education or not having proof of citizenship. In our own state, for example, California is home to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants, many of whom are raising children while working in low-paying positions. Their children should not be shackled to job paying minimum wage because they couldn’t get the needed education for a higher paying job. Children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. are obliged to the same opportunities and rights as any other American citizen.

If the U.S. can put 20 percent of its yearly budget toward defense spending, then they should be able to allot some funds for educating children. Giving a child a future seems like a good counterbalance to all the money funneled toward war and violence. 

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