Remembering the U.S. Supreme Court Case Out of Texas That Saved Classroom Seats for Undocumented Children

The furor over Texas' sanctuary cities bill has revived an old debate. Most in Texas agree that we need stronger border control, but we're still arguing over what our proper response should be to those who have crossed the border illegally and made a home here. In particular, what do we owe the young children they brought along? Thirty-five years ago this week, a case involving the Tyler Independent School District put this question squarely before the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices, closely split along ideological grounds, ruled 5-4 that every person in America, whether here legally or not, is covered by the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law. From that starting point, the justices reasoned that a Texas statute denying a free public education to children who were in the country illegally violated those ironclad guarantees.  Continue reading...

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