Top Stories

Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Branstad: Illegal immigrant children should be denied public education

By Jason Hancock | 07.29.10 | 8:00 am

Photo by Dave Davidson,

Children of immigrants in the country illegally should not be allowed to attend public schools in Iowa, so the court decision that made that the law of the land should be overturned, Republican candidate for governor Terry Branstad said Tuesday in a radio interview.

While speaking with WHO-AM’s Jan Mickelson, Branstad was asked about the U.S. Supreme Court case of Plyer v. Doe, a 1982 decision that struck down a Texas statute denying funding for education to children who were illegal immigrants. The court found that the policy was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, as immigrant children are people “in any ordinary sense of the term,” and therefore had protection from discrimination unless a substantial state interest could be shown to justify it.

Mickelson said the ruling “burdened the taxpayers with supporting the children of illegals,” and was now used by the state’s Department of Education to allow these children to attend publicly-funded schools. He then asked Branstad what he thought of it.

“I don’t agree with that decision,” he said. “I believe we need to see that overturned. But what they (the state Department of Education) are saying is it’s a U.S. Supreme Court decision and they feel an obligation to abide by it. I just think the decision is bad, it’s not a good decision and it should be overturned.”

But Branstad didn’t stop at public education. He said the state should work hard to ensure no government services go to people in the country illegally, saying government owes it to taxpayers to “see that these programs go to the ones they are supposed to support.”

“If they’re not here legally, they are not entitled to benefits and they should not receive them,” he said.

But a report by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency on undocumented immigrants’ cost to the state released in 2007 concluded that “decreasing undocumented immigrant eligibility for state spending does not appear to be a viable policy option.” This is because the only government services undocumented immigrants are eligible for — K-12 education, emergency medical care and other services available to anyone, such as police and fire protection — would be difficult to deny.

During the primary campaign, Branstad said he even opposed in-state college tuition for children born in the United States but whose parents are undocumented immigrants. However, he quickly backtracked on that statement, saying through a spokesman that if children are born here, “they are legal residents. If they are, they should be afforded every opportunity as every legal resident of the state.”

Branstad’s stand on immigration has morphed of late. During one of three gubernatorial debates held before the GOP primary, Branstad said he would not support Iowa passing a law similar to Arizona’s controversial measure that makes the failure to carry proof of citizenship or legal immigration status a crime. But earlier this month he told a crowd in Clarinda that any immigrant should have to prove they are in the country legally if they are stopped by police for a traffic violation or face deportation.

He doubled down on that stand Tuesday, saying “if someone is here illegally and they can’t show identification, I think they should be arrested.”

“But it is the federal government’s responsibility to enforce that,” Branstad said. “I don’t want those people to be housed in county jails for month after month. I think it should be turned over to the federal government and they need to be held accountable to do the deportation.”

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


  • ConstitutionFan

    BRANSTAD: “government owes it to taxpayers to 'see that these programs go to the ones they are supposed to support.'”
    Branstad is aware, isn't he, that through payroll withholding illegal aliens do in fact pay taxes? That they ARE “taxpayers”, even though education for their children is one of the few benefits of those taxes they consistently receive.


    Branstad is a stand up guy – smart man – he knows the illegal's are headed North
    Undocumented workers have been here for many years and are illegal citizens – if they want to become legal citizen they must go through the process for citizenship but they say why should we, Spanish is our first language and only language and we can find work, equal rights, court appointed attorneys, public assistance, public housing and we are multiplying like crazy and that way we will always control who is elected in all states – including the white house – the unions love us because we pay our dues and they have lobbyist that are very powerful so why should we become citizens? and that my friends, is the way government works………

    • ConstitutionFan

      GOUSA, I'm guessing that you're unaware of a recent Department of Homeland Security report that the unauthorized immigrant population in America DECREASED by 1.2 million— more than 10%— during 2009?


  • SarahB1

    Branstad was an idiot when in office before and this article proves he remains an idiot. Isn't he the guy who, after being involved in an auto accident, stated “They X-rayed my head and didn't find anything …”? Thought so.

  • Teddy Kennedy's SEARCH+RESCUE

    Meanwhile, the INVA$ION continues…

  • get_involved
  • bigclownhunter

    The court found that the policy was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, as immigrant children are people “in any ordinary sense of the term,” and therefore had protection from discrimination unless a

    “substantial state interest could be shown to justify it”.

    How about the fact that states are going broke trying to pay for another countries citizens? Its ridiculous to pay for these people.

  • PostTosties

    Governor Terry Branstad is a hell of a leader if he will support the American people
    over these parasites from Mexico.
    Mexicans want to take over the U.S. and they publicly express their views here in California.
    Don't allow them to take over cities in Iowa. You will be sorry. Get rid of them now!

    • dfflick

      Yeah, except California was theirs first, and we stole it. History, anyone?

  • len_ri

    A father breaks the law by entering this country illegally. The father should face justice.

    But the children? They are not free to act as they choose, they are under the control of their parents. Good Christians do not punish children for the sins of their fathers.

    It seems that Republican candidate for governor Terry Branstad has forgotten his scripture –

    Ezekiel 18:20 “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son.”

  • dfflick

    I am curious as to whether Branstad's ancestors were naturalized at the time that their children received public education in the USA. I've done some cursory research, and it looks to me like they came from Norway and were not naturalized. Not like it matters, but it does make him (more of) a hypocrite.

  • Oscar Vicioso Marquez

    fukk youu!fukenn hypocrite!good thing your in IOWA cause over here in cali you woulda been dealt @dfflick said your a hypocrite when your ancestors are form norway.swim back to Norway and ill walk back to Mexico.

Switch to our mobile site