Illegal immigrant impact on Arizona public schools – Forum Sept. 17

Public schools in Tucson and beyond may be overcrowded, understaffed and being stripped of cash, staff and programs.

Skool daze/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Skool daze/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

But those crowded and under-funded schools need to be open to everyone, including illegal immigrant children.


The U.S. Supreme Court says.

Education is a necessity for creating a somewhat coherent society. Perhaps this Supreme Court decision of 1982 has been a wholly beneficial move – or maybe it’s making a mess.

Find out at a free community forum on Thursday, Sept. 17 entitled: “Education for All; Reflections on the Impact of Plyler v. Doe on Arizona’s Public Schools.” The forum runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd. in room 164.

In December 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled that the State of Texas had unlawfully withheld state funds for educating children who had not been legally admitted to the United States, thus preventing those children from enrolling.

A 5 to 4 majority of the Supreme Court found, in Plyler v. Doe, that this policy was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, as illegal immigrant children are people “in any ordinary sense of the term” and are therefore entitled not to suffer discrimination with regard to school enrollment, according to a news release from Arizona’s Children Association/KARE Family Center, one of the forum’s sponsors.

Judge Linda Reyna Yañez, of the Thirteenth District Court of Appeals in Edinburg, Texas, will be the main speaker and joined by local panelists who include Dr. Celestino Fernandez from the University of Arizona Sociology Department; Lupita Cavazos-Garcia, assistant superintendent for Government Programs and Community Outreach; and U.S. Marine and college student Juan R. Yañez (no relation to speaker).

Other sponsors include Primavera Foundation for the Homeless, the James E. Rogers College of Law, Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program, and Goldman and Goldman PC.

For more information, contact the KARE Family Center at 323-4476, ext. 102.

I’m mixed on this one. My initial reaction is to say that American children, with parents who pay taxes, should come first. But I can also see disaster on the horizon if people who end up living in America, regardless of how they got here, end up living here with no education.

wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Public education for all?

Or public education for all, as long as the parents pay taxes?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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34 Responses to Illegal immigrant impact on Arizona public schools – Forum Sept. 17

  1. azmouse says:

    I’m torn too, only because the children are the innocent victims and shouldn’t suffer.

  2. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! It’ a cryin’ shame that kids from other countries here illegally, through no fault of their own, should have to pay for their parents decisions. On the other hand it rubs me the wrong way to have deficits and cutbacks in education, while providing ‘free’ services to those here illegally. Wonder if the offenders country of origin would be willing to pony up, since we are providing for their ex-patriots. Yeah sure.

    • radmax says:

      PS- How come this ‘forum’ is only represented by pro-illegal speakers? Sound  more like  a pep rally…

    • Rynski says:

      morning radmax! i know. i hate paying taxes as much as the next person – esp. when they go for things that don’t seem fair. i think we should be able to pick where our tax dollars go, not unlike how we get to select investments for 401Ks. I.E.:  Please select how you wish your tax dollars to be spent: a. roads; b. education; c. welfare and other social programs; d. dog parks.

  3. azmouse says:

    There’s an interesting documentary I recently saw, I think it was on HBO. It was about kids who ride the trains from other countries to come to the United States.
    Most of these kids were trying to get here without their parents knowledge or permission. They followed certain kids, from 8 years old and up. It made me wonder what these kids have been told about the U.S. They seemed to truly believe our streets are lined with gold. They had grandiose ideas of getting wonderful educations while living with a happy, loving American family that would take care of all their needs, all the while working after school to send tons of money back home so Mom could buy a new house and never work again.
    They were completely unrealistic, but willing to risk their young lives to come to ‘paradise’.

  4. Roy Warden says:

    I will attend, but don’t worry: I don’t plan on burning any Mexican Flags.

    Unmentioned in the article is the undeniable fact that for decades Left Wing public employees like Robert Hirsh, Isabel Garcia  and  Margo Cowan have worked non-stop to fill the American southwest with millions of Mexican Illegals in their effort to create an Hispanic plurality and their demented dream of Aztlan. 

    Why should the American people, and that includes Hispanic American taxpayers,  pay for their own demise?

    And besides: every Hispanic American legal Mexican immigrant I’ve spoken to has said: “I worked very hard to get out of Mexico and get my legal American citizenship. I don’t want Mexico following me here!”

    Keep Illegal Aliens out of the school system and you end one of the incentives for illegal entry in the first place!

    Warden, the Notorious Mexican Flag Burner     

  5. MarcyMom says:

    This is a tough one since I believe education is an important element in personal growth and national strength. For the most part, many of us are here because of the “legal” immigration of our ancestors who risked much to ensure their future generations would benefit from the freedoms and opportunities of the United States. I do have a problem with illegals, however. Free education leads to free health care and free services all on the backs of the American tax payer. I wonder how many American children are welcomed into foreign schools. I have had the experience of being required to teach a visiting cousin from Latin American because he was staying with relatives in the US for two months. There was no compensation paid to my school district. Yes, it was an opportunity for cultural sharing and had some positive results. However, I do wonder about the schools in California, Arizona, and Texas that have a steady flow of “visiting” children to educate on a regular basis. Let’s examine our immigration policies and work within the system.

  6. mrpwriter says:

    What about the innocent children who are citizens. Who is speaking up for them as these illegal children steal resources from those who rightfully have a claim to these resources? 

    What about the theft of money from the parents who have to not only pay for their children, but for the children of people who have paid NOTHING into the system.

    What about the fact that we are bankrupting our country by trying to be the great benefactor of all who come here. No, this is insanity and needs to be stopped.

    It is not the easy decision to refuse services to these children, but it is the right choice for the very future of our country.

  7. Carolyn Classen says:

    another talk on immigration reform this Saturday (from Tucson Peace Calendar website):

    Border policy and immigration reform this year? What we can do to keep the pressure on!
    Saturday, September 19th, 2009
    2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

    Meetings, Speakers & Presentations

    Speaker Jen Allen, Executive Director of Border Action Network will analyze the prospects of good reform of border policy and immigration laws this year, and tell us how to lobby on behalf of needed reform.

    Friends’ Meeting House [map]
    931 N. 5th Ave

    Contact: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

  8. MadMommy says:

    Ill informed illegal immigrants come here with the idea that the streets are lined in gold. Lies told them by parents that may have had good intentions but ultimately lying to them and encouraging them to commit crimes to get into this country illegally and perpetuate the problem. Just like the lies that  Hamas members tell suicide bombers when they convince them to blow themselves up for their cause.. They are told that suicide bombers go directly to heaven, where they’re met by virgins and lush gardens.
    Ignorant children that believe these lies are as dangerous as the parents that tell them. Sadly they believe these lies and come here with no ability to support themselves. Tell them the truth and send them home. Tell them to make their dreams come true in MEXIC O. No golden lined streets here.

  9. erniemccray says:

    I’ve known a few “illegal immigrants” in my life and to the person they were human beings merely trying to survive. Not one of them came here thinking of themselves as an “illegal,” or a criminal of any kind and none of them came here looking for streets of gold or any fantasy situation. They don’t have time for misplaced dreams of fortune. They want a job so they can eat and have a place to sleep and they spend money in our communities and often, because of the cheapness of their labor, we’re able to afford the vegetables we buy.
    What would we do if we were hungry and broke and found out there were jobs in some other country if we could just get there somehow. Would we look at our children and go: “I’m sorry, we can’t try to get across the border, you know, because, well, it’s illegal. We’d be breaking there laws.”
    Trying to solve the problem of people coming to our country “illegally” is extremely difficult but we’ll never solve it without compassion, without understanding just why people cram themselves in car trunks and in secret compartments in trucks or build tunnels or cross raging rivers to get here.
    Our anger diminishes us and stifles our abilities to creatively solve social problems. There are enough resources in both Mexico and the U.S. to keep us all healthy and alive. How to make that happen is the pregunta but we never approach it that way.
    And the very thought of depriving children of an education because they aren’t supposed to be here is an abominable idea that should be eliminated from our collective thinking.

    • radmax says:

      Howdy Ernie. I want free health care.I want free education. Who doesn’t. If you don’t think there is enough compassion towards illegals, you’ve got your head in the sand. Everybody wants something. Few are willing to pay the price for the border jumpers, yet there is no lack of services available for them. Just because someone happens to end up on this side of the border does not or should not mean we are now responsible for that individual.

      • leftfield says:

        RadMax – I’m glad to hear you say that you “want free health care” and “free education”, because that should be your right as a human being.  Welcome aboard, matey!

        Neoliberal “free trade” specifically, and globalized capitalism generally, are responsible for these economic refugees.  The notion that ADM, Cargill and the like are free to plunder and pillage, but not responsible for the damage that results is just plain offensive. 

      • leftfield says:

        If it’s all too complicated, just remember: People Before Profits.

      • radmax says:

        So get them to foot the bill, I got no problem with that. That will not happen. Even with all your convoluted reasoning, I’m still carrying the load. Once again your pie in the sky ideals override the reality of the situation.

      • leftfield says:

        If by “carrying the load”, you mean paying taxes, I guess I’m carrying the load too.  How come “carrying the load” is so much more of a problem for you than for me?

        As to idealism; well, I am still a commie, which means that I am also a materialist, but a materialist who believes that a better world is possible.

      • radmax says:

        Mornin’ Lefty-Welcome to the load bearers assoc. OK, so you pay taxes, as all good commies should. I don’t think I have a problem with the tax part(did I mention them?)…no, it’s the ‘I’m not here illegally, but wish to enjoy all your country’s rights’ part. Morally, I agree with you, fiscally, I do not. Wish I could afford to save the world, right now I can’t. Maybe you are in a better financial situation than I, and could shoulder a little more comrade.

      • radmax says:

        Should read “‘I’m not here( il)legally,” lo siento.

    • Suzanne says:

      I agree Ernie. I, too, have known some “illegal immigrants” in my life, my grandfather being one. He came from Scotland, a country where they were starving and needed employment so badly, he had to leave his family to start a new life, with the hope that he could help those back home.
      I think that the heightened sense of awareness on our economy and our pocketbooks has been the cause of blurrrreeeddd vision for many of us and fear has activated this occular disesase that now permeates our country. 
       The pressure is on right now because all of these issues,  finance, immigration, housing, foreclosures..for so long have not been addressed by our political representatives nor our communities. This neglect has had a domino effect and the impact to Americans and the world has been devastating. Many of us have not seen or heard of these financial tragedies befallen us since the Great Depression. So, yes, this scares us and fear can sometimes force people to make decisions they wouldn’t normally make, so I ask you to use caution when your decisions have the power to affect other peoples lives.
      However, this does not mean to neglect our responsibilities to the families and children who reside here, legal or not. I have witnessed 9 to 15 people living and renting one apartment so that they might eventually fain employment, save some money, and be offered a better life here in our country. I also witnessed and assisted in several Mexican immigrants in obtaining their citizenship and bringing their families here so that they might be offered a chance at a better way of life in America. People don’t leave their homes and their families for no reason. They leave their homes because they are hopeful of a better life for themselves, their families and their children.
      Not providing an education to “illegal immigrant children” will not solve our financial woes. Nor will it solve many of the grave concerns that plague our financial institutions these days, but the ultimate and most powerful Laws that we have to respond to are not man’s law but God’s Law.

  10. erniemccray says:

    Make that “We’d be breaking THEIR laws.”
    Hey, it’s the “educator” in me.

  11. Mic Marine says:

    Roy Warden and those of  like ilk are leaving out some morsels of fact that always slide through.  They could come under the topic that Doc Holliday once mentioned in the movies Tombstone.  ” My hypocrisy has no bounds.
    Drive through Sierra Vista and much of the area and you see that the retired General’s  homes are being built with Mexican labor. They have found a legal way to do this,  by skipping taxes and offering food and lodging.  In fact the estimate is that approximately 70% of all homes in Southern Arizona are built with Mexican immigrant labor. Have you ever seen a home builder be sanctioned; outside one token one?  So the logic escapes me.  The day-time conservatives need to stop being nighttime  exploiters of labor.  Stop hiring them, if you are so lathered up.
    Immigration issues have been on our agendas since the forming of the State of Arizona.  Nothing has ever been resolved since we were scared to death of the Chinese and Japanese coming here.  Check out the history of the George Hirabayashi Camp on the way to Mt Lemon, and you will see where we imprisoned them without due process, for immigration violation along with tax evaders . Interesting eh. Once upon a time the illegals were side by side with tax cheats in a labor camp. Who got out first? The illegals because they were needed for labor for the rich land barons in Tucson. The tax cheats were not wanted!
    Jim Kolbe had 3 decades to solve the problem. John McCain has had 26 years.  Has anyone caught on yet? We are being “worked” folks.  The “OZ” runs the show and we are but puppets. Anyone know who the OZ might be?

  12. pancho says:

    Why don’t some of  you question ( protest) the cost of the three wars we are involved in?  Costing us billions!  How about our millions that go to Israel to practice ethnic cleansing?  I also don’t hear anything against NAFTA that has displaced millions of workers in Mexico and all the other free trade agreements that only the rich benifit from?   No Human being is Illegal!   Amen!  PS:  I guess the real illegals in this country  fear the browning of Amerika and want to keep it lilly white!  

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