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Branstad’s call to deny education to illegal immigrant children gets national attention
In an interview earlier this summer with WHO-AM’s Jan Mickelson, Branstad said a U.S. Supreme Court decision that mandated states provide access to public education to the children of illegal immigrants should be overturned.
“I just think the decision is bad, it’s not a good decision and it should be overturned,” Branstad said.
Gubernatorial hopefuls around the country are running on strict anti-immigrant platforms, pledging to sign an array of tough enforcement measures into law come January, Brown reports. Of the 37 states with campaigns for governor, 20 have a Republican candidate who endorses adopting immigration laws similar to the controversial legislation passed in Arizona. But thus far, it appears only Tom Tancredo in Colorado — who is running a third-party bid — has publicly advocated for a position similar to Branstad’s on public education.
Taking a position that goes further than other GOP candidates, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who is trying to unseat the Democratic governor, said a longstanding Supreme Court decision that forced states to educate the children of illegal immigrants should be overturned.
And when people are stopped for a criminal or traffic violation, they should be detained and turned over to the federal government if they can’t prove their legal status, Branstad has said.
“Iowans are frustrated,” Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht said. “Either we are going to enforce the laws or we are not going to enforce the laws, and Governor Branstad is on the side of wanting to enforce those laws.”
Branstad wants to overturn 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.
Branstad’s position was greeted with outrage by immigrants-rights activists, who said denial of things like basic education, police protection and emergency health care to any segment of society has ripple effects for everyone.