‘It’s a local community decision…I think that is – a school decision…’
(John Wynne, Liberty Headlines) Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke before a House committee on Tuesday, where she suggested that schools could report illegal immigrant children to ICE, according to ABC News.
Now, she’s under fire from progressives who want to make it clear that this is not OK.
“It’s a local community decision,” DeVos told the committee on the subject of illegal immigrant children. When pressed, she further explained: “I think that is – a school decision.”
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) immediately rebuked her statement and told her that enforcing immigration law was a federal, not local, concern.
“Let us just remind Madam Chair that immigration law is federal law,” he said. “It’s not a local law. It’s not governed by a municipality.”
Civil rights groups joined Espaillat in his criticism of DeVos’s remarks, suggesting that reporting illegal immigration children to ICE would actually be against the law.
“Let’s be clear: Any school that reports a child to ICE would violate the Constitution,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The Supreme Court has made clear that every child in America has a right to a basic education, regardless of immigration status. Secretary DeVos is once again wrong.”
Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, agreed.
“Any public school or school district that denies an education to any undocumented child – whether by refusing to enroll, by limiting access to the programs and benefits provided to other students, or by reporting a child to ICE – has violated the United States Constitution.”
But Ken Klukowski, legal editor at Breitbart News, notes that the Supreme Court decision the liberal groups are referring to was written by “ultra-liberal Justice William Brennan” and that “conservative and moderate justices dissented.”
He explained that the decision is “the only Supreme Court support for birthright citizenship” and that “it was wrongly decided and poorly reasoned and should be overruled.”
To read more on DeVos’s comments that triggered progressives, check out the article from ABC News.