Dan Stein, the president of the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform, urged Congress yesterday to challenge Plyler v. Doe, the 1982 Supreme Court decision that found that states can’t withhold public school funding for educating undocumented immigrant children, saying that states should instead “be able to charge tuition” to those children.
Virginia talk radio host Rob Schilling asked Stein yesterday what policy proposals he recommend that could combat the cost of educating the children of immigrants, and Stein said that one solution would be to re-litigate Plyer so that “at a minimum” states could charge tuition to undocumented kids.
“Public education should not be viewed as some hallowed ground,” he said. “It doesn’t create an entitlement for the child to be here by enrolling them in school. It basically says, if you’re going to be here, well, yeah, you ought to be in school, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be subject to deportation when the time comes.”
“So it would be great if Congress would pass a statute, pass Plyler again and re-litigate it to the Supreme Court,” he added, “because if you go back and look at that case there’s ample reason to argue that the situation now has radically changed and that at a minimum states should be able to charge tuition if you have no right to be in the country. Obviously, that would face a blowback from MALDEF and the Democratic Party, but that’s something that could be done.”