Home > Uncategorized > Is Betsy DeVos Clueless About Immigration… or… Does ESSA Imply States Ability to Set Immigration Standards

Is Betsy DeVos Clueless About Immigration… or… Does ESSA Imply States Ability to Set Immigration Standards

June 4, 2018

One thing is abundantly clear after months of leadership by the Trump administration: every agency head believes that they are free to interpret the laws of the land in the fashion they believe to be true.

Betsy DeVos was recently chastised by the Washington Post editorial board for her declaration that  “…individual schools and localities can decide whether teachers or principals can report undocumented students to immigration authorities.” The editorial board cites a Supreme Court decision in 1982 as evidence that they can’t. But… what if Ms. DeVos and the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, insisted that ESSA gives states the right to do just that? In the Alice-in-Wonderland political world we live in today, such an interpretation would not be illogical, the Supreme Court decisions and USDOE pronouncements of the past notwithstanding. The editorial concludes with these paragraphs::

It’s hard to know whether the secretary, whose gauzy pronouncements on policy in the past have raised questions about the breadth of her expertise, is ignorant of the law or knows it but is loath to endorse it, given the administration’s distaste for any policy favoring illegal immigrants. Either way, the effect is likely to be the same: a chilling effect on parents who would send their undocumented children to school.

That’s senseless, given the cost identified by the Supreme Court in the Plyler ruling: “the creation and perpetuation of a subclass of illiterates within our boundaries, surely adding to the problems and costs of unemployment, welfare, and crime.”

In Mr. Trump’s world, the solution to having “…a subclass of illiterates within our boundaries” is easy: send them back to the country they came from. From all evidence, Ms. DeVos lives in the same world. 

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