Argumentative Essay On Immigrant Children

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One of the most controversial social and economic problems in the U.S. today is immigration reform and illegal immigration. With the most recent studies done by the Pew Research Center, as of March 2012 there are 11.7 million illegal immigrants residing in this country (Nakamura) Out of these 11.7 million, it was estimated a year before that 198,000 reside in San Diego county (Lee, “Estimated 198,000 illegal immigrants in SD County"). These illegal immigrants range from single migrant workers to whole families who are here on overstayed working visas. Although there are many sides of the illegal immigration problem, one the main disputes is the education of these illegal immigrant children. Public education is considered a right for every…show more content…
Doe, a landmark decision holding that states cannot constitutionally deny students a free public education on account of their immigration status. Although this legally gives all children right to an education, over the past few decades, states have been promoting policy and legislation that parallels the current anti-immigrant sentiment. (Public Education) So when talking about public education there are three categories that immigrant children can fall under: if their parents or if they’re considered permanent residents, if they were born here and are citizens, or are here illegally. When children are here as permanent residents and or their parents are on work visas they have equal rights to public education in the eyes of the government. This is also true for children born here even if their parents gave birth to them while illegally being here. For children who were here illegally until recently it was up for constant debate what their rights for public education were. However on June 15, 2012, President Obama signed a memo calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children who want to pursue an education or military service here. This memo, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”), began to accept applications on August 15, 2012 (Equal). What DACA does is that it gives amnesty to people from deportation that apply for the program and fit the qualifications.…show more content…
(Rasmussen Reports) This shows that still more than half of the country believes that education is a right for people who are here legally only. The moral issues that come with educating illegal immigrants can be illustrated Plyler v. Doe, which was discussed above. The case is about a group of Mexican students who challenged Texas school districts who wanted to charge tuition to all students that could not show proof of documentation. Eventually brought to the Supreme Court, it was decided that due to the 14th amendment that “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (This provision is commonly known as the “Equal Protection Clause.”) Under this provision, the Court held that if states provide a free public education to U.S. citizens and lawfully present foreign-born children, they cannot deny such an education to undocumented children without “showing that it furthers some substantial state interest.” (Public Education) The social argument against educating these students mainly derives from the deep-seated prejudice against immigrants that has haunted this country from the immigrants of Irish and German immigrants in the 19th century, to the Eastern European and Asian immigrants in the early 20th century, to the immigrants from Latin America today. The problem in

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