Texas Governor Greg Abbott may fight law allowing children of illegal immigrants to attend public school for free

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Thursday he is considering challenging a law that allows all children, regardless of legal status, to attend public schools for free.

In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled that illegal immigrant children have a constitutional right to attend public school free of charge in a decision known as Plyer v. Doe. The High Court made its decision after schools in Tyler, Texas tried to charge the children $1,000 tuition.

“Plyer is a 40-year-old decision that dealt with immigration to the state of Texas that was vastly different than it is now,” Abbott said at a press conference in Houston.

Abbott said Texas then saw mostly Mexican immigration and there was only a need to teach the Spanish language in state schools.

Now, Abbott said, Texas sees immigrants from 105 different countries who speak dozens of languages, and the cost of hiring teachers would be a burden on state taxpayers.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he could challenge a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that children are entitled to free public schooling regardless of their immigration status.
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The governor said it costs the state of Texas about $7,500 per child per year, but the cost would be higher for immigrant children who need special instruction.

β€œIt leads to education obligations, as well as other obligations that are simply unsustainable and unaffordable. It should be the federal government, not the state of Texas, that should foot this bill,” Abbott said.

In the Plyler case, four immigrant families were represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which responded quickly to Abbott’s intention to challenge the law.

Migrant teenagers line up to go to class
Texas. Governor Greg Abbott said the immigration situation in Texas has changed since the Supreme Court issued its ruling in 1982.

“Greg Abbott has once again distinguished himself as one of our most irresponsible and desperate politicians. The Plyler decision, he said, is firmly established by the court and was also endorsed by the Congress,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF, in a statement.

But since the Supreme Court is apparently willing to reverse the legal precedent set by ending Roe’s federal protection against Wade, according to a leaked memo, Abbott signaled that the court may review other legal precedents.

Migrant children
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said educating illegal immigrant children would raise the price of education in his state.

On the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on abortion, Abbott said the court shouldn’t wait to get its decision.

“I strongly urge the court to deliver this ruling this week. Don’t wait and let bullying happen in the streets, whether in the Supreme Court or in the United States. Get the ruling now. The public saw it. Get it out,” Abbott said.

New York Post

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