On radio, Suthers says legal mandate to give undocumented kids public education is bogus

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

KOA’s Mike Rosen agreed with Colorado Attorney General John Suthers Thursday that the legal decision forcing states to offer a grade-school education to undocumented children is bogus.

If you don’t think this tidbit deserves to be my first blog post of the week, you would be wrong.

The federal requirement to give a basic education to all children, regardless of immigration status, is a long-settled legal matter.

No reporter, no teacher, no chef, no mom, no dad, not even a Republican talk-radio host, should let Colorado’s top-dog lawyer trash this Supreme Court decision in favor of undocumented kids without any discussion or scrutiny whatsoever.

Too much is at stake. We’re talking about grade-school education for some of the most vulnerable children in our country. And Suthers’s unsympathetic tone on Rosen’s radio show seems to indicate that it’s not just the legal issues that bother him, but the notion that children of illegal immigrants should be offered a public-school education in the world’s richest nation.

Here’s what Suthers had to say on the topic, which came up during a discussion of  the ASSET bill, granting a tuition break to children of illegal immigrants, which Suthers called the “a complete run around” of two federal statutes.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers: For some incredible reason, in 1982, the United States Supreme Court in a case called Plyler v. Doe, I think it was a San Antonio case, said any child regardless of immigration status is eligible for a free primary or secondary education. I’ve never been able to find that in the United States Constitution, but they said it’s in the 14th Amendment.

Rosen: Yes, which was all about slavery by the way, but that’s another story.

Rosen should have Suthers back on his radio show to illuminate more details on this topic, and, meanwhile, Rosen should bring a guest on air who will defend the basic humanity — and legal reasoning — for giving undocumented children a public-school education.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    This Court’s prior cases recognizing that illegal aliens are “persons” protected by the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which Clauses do not include the phrase “within its jurisdiction,” cannot be distinguished on the asserted ground that persons who have entered the country illegally are not “within the jurisdiction” of a State even if they are present within its boundaries and subject to its laws…

    In concluding that “all persons within the territory of the United States,” including aliens unlawfully present, may invoke the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to challenge actions of the Federal Government, we reasoned from the understanding that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to afford its protection to all within the boundaries of a State…

    There is simply no support for appellants’ suggestion that “due process” is somehow of greater stature than “equal protection,” and therefore available to a larger class of persons. To the contrary, each aspect of the Fourteenth Amendment reflects an elementary limitation on state power. To permit a State to employ the phrase “within its jurisdiction” in order to identify subclasses of persons whom it would define as beyond its jurisdiction, thereby relieving itself of the obligation to assure that its laws are designed and applied equally to those persons, would undermine the principal purpose for which the Equal Protection Clause was incorporated in the Fourteenth Amendment. The Equal Protection Clause was intended to work nothing less than the abolition of all caste-based and invidious class-based legislation. That objective is fundamentally at odds with the power the State asserts here to classify persons subject to its laws as nonetheless excepted from its protection…

    The experience of our Nation has shown that prejudice may manifest itself in the treatment of some groups. Our response to that experience is reflected in the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Legislation imposing special disabilities upon groups disfavored by virtue of circumstances beyond their control suggests the kind of “class or caste” treatment that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to abolish…

    The classification at issue deprives a group of children of the opportunity for education afforded all other children simply because they have been assigned a legal status due to a violation of law by their parents. These children thus have been singled out for a lifelong penalty and stigma. A legislative classification that threatens the creation of an underclass of future citizens and residents cannot be reconciled with one of the fundamental purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.


    For a state Attorney General to play dumb like that is just offensive.  For Rosen, it’s his job description.

  2. BlueCat says:

    that was the decision and as long as it stands, it stands, whether Suthers likes it or not. Is he planning to try to get it overturned?

  3. letusbereal says:

    Time and time again John Suthers has let partisan considerations cloud his legal opinions.  The first time was when he said Joan FitzGerald could not run for another term.  It took the Court about five minutes to throw out that bogus claim.  A good AG can be partisan but not in the legal advice he tenders.  

    This contrasts with Gale Norton, Ken Salazar and every other Colorado AG who gave honest legal advice.  

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    1. Birth control is evil. So, it needs to banned worldwide. And, don’t even contemplate having an abortion.

    2. Therefore, women will have lots of kids.

    3. And, some of those will be illegal aliens as population pressure from around the globe will cause people to flow to where there is more opportunity.

    4. Those kids should not be educated so they will have more kids themselves, but won’t (due to lack of education) be able to support them. Leaving the taxpayer to now pay more in support for children who are US citizens.

    5. Except that the Repubs will gut/cut the support monies so these children will form feral gangs and attack the privileged classes in their country clubs.

  5. PitaPita says:

    Or are the bigots and fear mongors among us worse than they have been since the late 50’s and 60’s.

    For Suthers to play into this illegal immigrant madness and start challenging small children’s free education is a stunning reminder how far Republican leaders have fallen in the last 10 years.    

    • gertie97 says:

      But now they have talk radio and the interwebz to spread their hateful horseshit.

      As a number of people have noted on this blog, the sainted Ronald Reagan himself couldn’t get nominated in today’s GOP.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      Is that the parties have finally split along ideological grounds. In the past we Dems had Southern conservatives in our party while the GOP had moderate business people. It forced both parties to operate from the middle.

      With the ideological split, each party has moved towards its base. And the politically active GOP base is bat-shit insane. We’ve apparently had a significantly large number of people off the deep end and with the ideological split, they’ve been able to gain immense influence on the Republican party.

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