Oklahoma Republicans were coming up with ideas in order to fill the state’s budget hole and provide raises for teachers without raising taxes. One of those lawmakers came up with an idea that didn’t go down well, not even with Gov. Mary Fallin.
Rep. Mike Ritze’s budget-cutting proposal is to turn over non-English speaking students to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to see if they are U.S. citizens.
“Identify them and then turn them over to ICE to see if they truly are citizens, and do we really have to educate non-citizens?” Ritze told News 9.
His question can be answered by reading the Constitution. (See: Plyler v. Doe)
Ritze’s brainstorm didn’t go down well with his Republican colleagues.
The House Republican Platform Caucus has now issued a statement: pic.twitter.com/0vN40rdtaf
— KOKH FOX 25 (@OKCFOX) May 12, 2017
“The idea of identifying and detaining non-English speaking students was never discussed in any of our meetings,” House Republican Platform Caucus said in a statement Friday, according to Law Newz. “We absolutely do not support this idea.”
Law Newz explains Plyler v. Doe:
Prop 187 was a ballot initiative passed in 1994. It established, as a budget-cutting measure, that undocumented immigrants couldn’t use public services, including education. This sparked a legal battle that the state lost.
In Plyler, Justices affirmed 5-4 a 5th Circuit ruling that overturned a Texas law denying free public education to undocumented kids. The majority agreed that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause applied to immigrants too.
“The illegal aliens who are plaintiffs in these cases challenging the statute may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,’” the holding states. “Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is a “person” in any ordinary sense of that term.”
Gov. Fallin said that a citizenship test for non-English speaking student is “not on the table for me. I’ll just take that off the table right now. Real simple.”
Image: Oklahoma State Legislature.