From the Border to the Schoolhouse Gate: Alternative Arguments for Extending Primary Education to Undocumented Alien Children
The current legal and political landscape in the United States reveals the challenges posed by the broken immigration system and its concomitant result, the high levels of unauthorized or undocumented migration to the country. While many local civic institutions are impacted daily by unauthorized immigration, statewide educational systems in particular have found themselves squarely in the fray on this matter. Whether children lacking legal immigration status, typically denominated undocumented students, are able to attend public primary school gratis has been a settled question for the last twenty-five years. In 1982, the Supreme Court held in its landmark decision Plyler v. Doe that undocumented students cannot be deprived by a state of a free public K- 12 education without violating the Equal Protection Clause. Thus, it has been the law of the land since then that these children have been able to access primary education.