By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that school districts may not turn children away just because they are not in the country legally. But despite this, one in five districts in New York state are refusing to educate foreign nationals who don't have U.S. visas.
Not only is this illegal, it's racist, inhumane and contrary to good public policy.
We already know that millions and millions of illegal immigrants are here to stay. They've weaved themselves into the fabric of society. There's no imminent massive round up to find them all and send them back. They are, with rare exception, here to stay.
So to take children, many of whom are struggling with English to begin with, and to deny them an education, only creates a deep underclass of future teenagers and adults who will be total disenfranchised and who will lack the basic skills to be productive members of society.
That kind of denial of opportunity only leads - inevitably - to an increase in crime.
I'm not saying that all of these illegal immigrants are destined to become criminals. I'm just suggesting that denying anyone an education greatly increases the possibility that they will.
So what are we creating for our future? Another problem for our children and our grandchildren's generations to deal with.
Really, it should matter not to school districts, even from a fiscal standpoint, whether the children they educate are in the country legally or not. Schools are funded by property taxes. If their parents are paying rent, then a portion of that rent is paid by the landlord to the schools in the form of property taxes.
They contribute the same amount of money whether they have visas or not.
This denial of education to children sends an horrific message - not just to the immigrant communities - but to the rest of us as well. If the education of the child down the block is not valued, then what does that say about the value of the education of my children?
At any rate, we shouldn't even be debating this issue in 2010. The Supreme Court ruled that school districts must educate undocumented children more than 30 years ago. They should be forced to follow the law.
After all, to borrow a phrase from the anti-illegal immigration movement, what part of the word illegal don't they understand?