Home > Uncategorized > Raise Taxes or Turn Immigrant Children in to ICE? What do YOU Think an OK GOP Legislator Would Do?

Raise Taxes or Turn Immigrant Children in to ICE? What do YOU Think an OK GOP Legislator Would Do?

May 12, 2017

If you guessed turn in the names of immigrants, you are aware of how much the GOP hates taxes. In an article by Peter Holley in yesterday’s Washington Post Oklahoma Republican Rep. Mike Ritze told CBS affiliate KWTV he had a proposal for closing a $900,000,000 budget gap:

Rounding up the state’s 82,000 non-English-speaking students and handing them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Identify them and then turn them over to ICE to see if they truly are citizens — and do we really have to educate noncitizens?” Ritze asked…

Ritze told the station that the proposal — which faced immediate backlash and was called “utterly shameful” by the state schools superintendent — could save $60 million.

The Tulsa lawmaker, as the Associated Press notes, didn’t specify whether he wants to merely hand over thousands of names to federal authorities, or whether he’d prefer to see the state round up the individuals — a task that presumably would come with a substantial price tag.

“The State Department of Education said there are actually about 50,000 English learners in pre-K through 12th grade in Oklahoma public schools, but many of those students could be U.S. citizens,” according to the AP.

Pew Research Center estimates that there were 95,000 unauthorized immigrants living in Oklahoma in 2014, the latest year of available data.

To their credit, according to an AP report, some members of the Republican Platform Caucus “quickly distanced themselves from Ritze’s comments.”

Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, had a different take:

In a statement, Kiesel said Republicans were using “political distraction” to hide the fact that the state’s legislature is a “far greater threat” to the safety of Oklahomans than undocumented children.

“The United States Supreme Court has ruled in Plyler v. Doe that all children living in this Nation are guaranteed the right to a public education,” the statement said. “The ACLU will not stand for any attempt to strip any student of that right, nor will we allow the Legislature to insert racial profiling or discriminatory stereotypes about non English speakers into our schools.”

“A government that threatens to turn children over to law enforcement to avoid educating them should alarm and outrage all Oklahomans,” the statement added. “Immigration authority has no place in our schools.”

In the meantime, at the national level, firings of FBI Directors, discussions of border walls and the exclusion of Muslims, and endless reporting on shoot-from-the-hip Presidential tweets are distracting all of us on the legislation that is pending in Congress that would strip health benefits from millions and shred a safety net that is already tattered. We should all be alarmed…


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