Educating the Children of Illegal Immigrants
William John Hagan
Houston Home Journal (Warner Robins, Perry, GA)
May 18, 2005
When the United States finally became a union in 1789, one of the primary concerns of our founding fathers was the preservation of the sovereignty and protection of State Rights. Unlike Britain and Canada, the United States of America embraced a republican form of government rather than an all powerful parliamentary system. The formation of the United States Senate was not a throwback to the Roman Senate, but a unique historical creation which protected States with small populations from domination by more populated ones. The Senate has served its purpose as a check on legislative domination by the House of Representatives. However, the founding fathers were 1ooking to the wrong evil when they feared a loss of State Rights from domination by the House of Representatives. Washington and his fellows failed to visualize the judiciary would become the true threat to the people and the rights of States.
Strict constitutionalists typically point to Roe v. Wade, the case which made abortions on demand available in all fifty States, as the ultimate example of the Supreme Court creating law beyond the scope of the Constitution. Ironically it was Abraham Lincoln, a man who repeatedly violated the constitution before criminally suspending habeas corpus, who warned that the people will cease to be their own rulers if the Supreme Court is left unchecked. Lincoln may have been wrong about the Taney Court of the 1860s, but his prediction was fulfilled in the age of the Burger Court between the years of 1969 to 1986. The Burger court is best known for such decisions as Roe v Wade, Miller v. California (which opened the door to obscenity in America), University of California v. Bakke (creating affirmative action), Lemon v. Kurtzman** (eliminating state support of religious schools), and the rarely mentioned Plyer v Doe**.
Plyer v. Doe** was the Burger Court’s decision which forced states to pay to educate the children of illegal immigrants. According to conservative columnist N. Beaujon, “**If there was ever a single event that has contributed to the explosion of illegal immigration in our country it was the 1982 Supreme Court decision Plyer v. Doe] that made it mandatory for every state in the union to educate every single child of criminally illegal immigrants no matter the cost, conditions of their entry, justification or the resources necessary to accomplish this indignation by judicial fiat.” The court based their decision on the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which extends equal protection to all American citizens. The only problem with their logic was that illegal immigrants aren’t citizens and therefore not entitled to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. What the Burger Court did was to make law, which is the job of Congress, when it had no constitutional power to do so.
Plyer v Doe has cost our nation dearly. Each year our states pay $7.4 billion dollars to educate the children of criminal aliens. The border state of California is burdened with $2.1 billion dollars of this debt alone. This financial burden even effects non-border states, Georgia spends more than $231 million educating illegal immigrants.
In the coming years, President Bush will be forced to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. I would urge him to not only use Roe v Wade as a litmus test but also insist that his nominees demonstrate an opposition to Plyer v Doe. The time has come to force the Supreme Court to return to their rightful place as interpreters of law rather than makers of law.
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