Education for Undocumented Students Essay

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Undocumented immigrants often elicit the images of Mexican immigrants illegally crossing the border by car or by foot. Many Americans may also think of the soccer field immigrants at the border of Tijuana and San Diego, or the immigrants running away from the drug lords. While majority of undocumented immigrants in California are from Mexico, there are a number of other countries that have immigrants finding refuge in America that reside in all states. Undocumented immigrants are a wide group that may encompass the following people groups: asylum-seeking refugees, migrants from war torn countries that are not under a refugee status, and those that arrive at our borders hoping for a better life in America than in their home country. While …show more content…
This paper will overview several federal and state legislations in regards to an undocumented child's rights to a public education, overview controversial laws that are trying to hinder their right to education, and conclude with the implication of these political decisions on the undocumented child.
Federal Legislation
Supreme Court case Plyler vs. Doe In 1982, the United States Supreme Court reviewed a case regarding the education of undocumented Mexican children in Texas (Plyler v. Doe, 1982). Arguments stated that when the school district denied education to these children, the school district violated the children's right under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. However, in 1975, Texas passed a law that stated that school districts have the legal right to withhold state funds for educating unauthorized immigrants. This class action suit was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court after the lower courts upheld the school district's decision. In a tight decision, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot deny undocumented children the right to have public education because it would violate their 14th amendment rights. These children lacked responsibility for their status as undocumented, and in the ruling was found to be innocent victims of a status that is beyond their control. The courts state that
...denying these children a basic education, we deny them the ability to live within the structure of our
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