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This State Representative Wants to Round Up Non-English Speaking Kids at School and Deport Them if They’re Undocumented. Here’s Why That’s Unconstitutional.

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‘Do We Really Have to Educate Non-Citizens?’ Asks Oklahoma State Rep. Mike Ritze

The state of Oklahoma is facing one of the worst budget crises in its history in the form of a nearly $900 million dollar budget shortfall. Legislators and the governor are scrambling to figure out how to get the state out of the red. But one state representative earlier this month offered a plan that is as cruel as it is unconstitutional: Round up tens of thousands of the state’s students who speak English as a second language, hand them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and deport them if they’re undocumented.

“Identify them and then turn them over to ICE to see if they truly are citizens,” Rep. Mike Ritze, a member of the Republican Platform Caucus, told a local news station. “Do we really have to educate non-citizens?” 

Aside from the overall inhumanity of Ritze’s “plan,” he poses a question that deserves an answer: Do public schools in the United States have to educate noncitizens? The answer is an unqualified yes.

In 1982, the Supreme Court decided Plyler v. Doe. The question before the justices was whether the state of Texas could deny undocumented students the right to a free public education that U.S. citizens and legally admitted immigrants received. Under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, wrote Justice William Brennan, the state of Texas could not do so. The 14th Amendment, he explained, “is not confined to the protection of citizens” and ensures that no state can “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” That included a free public education. 

But beyond the unconstitutionality of Ritze’s plan, we should take a moment to discuss why the state’s Republican superintendent of schools, Joy Hofmeister, called it “utterly shameful,” and why his caucus members have distanced themselves from his plan.  

First off, children’s grasp of English has absolutely nothing to with their immigration status. Second, there is no way to carry out such a plan without resorting to racial profiling. According to Ben Felder of The Oklahoman, over half of the student body of Oklahoma City Public Schools is Hispanic, and such a plan would make a majority of the students feel like second-class citizens. It’s not far-fetched to fear that Hispanic and Latino kids would go to class afraid that if they don’t speak English up to an arbitrary standard that they would fall under the scrutiny of the school, their local police department, and federal immigration authorities. And third, and most importantly, these are kids we’re talking about. They deserve protection and an education, not fear and stigma. 

“There is no benefit to floating outrageous ideas that seek to punish kids,” Hofmeister said. We agree. Immigration authority has no place in our schools. Racial profiling has no place in our schools. At a time in our nation’s history when xenophobia and nationalism are on the rise, it is crucial that students and parents know that they and their children are protected and valued.

And we’ll be there to assure that they are.

ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel served three terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2004 to 2010. During his time in the legislature, Kiesel held various leadership roles and often led the fight against efforts to curb reproductive rights and trample civil liberties.

This article originally appeared on the ACLU’s blog and is reprinted here by permission.

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

Image of Mike Ritze via Facebook

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‘Oddest’: Legal Experts Mock Trump’s ‘Nutty’ and ‘Doomed to Fail’ Emergency Supreme Court Motion

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It weighs in at 240 pages but legal experts are still mocking Donald Trump’s emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling and allow the special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents retrieved from him Mar-a-Lago home.

“Oddest SCOTUS petition. Very technical and not terribly logical,” observed Andrew Weissmann, an NYU School of Law law professor and former DOJ official who served as the General Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as special counsel to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The motion was addressed to Justice Clarence Thomas,  who oversees the 11th Circuit courts. His wife, Ginni Thomas, is an avowed supporter of Trump and his “Big Lie” claims he won the 2020 election.

READ MORE: Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case

“SCOTUS should send him packing,” tweets former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “No surprise here, this was why he paid former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise $3 million to sign on, no one else on his team could handle this.”

“Just watch SCOTUS turn Trump down 9-0. (Or 8-1 if Thomas dissents . . . ),” writes retired Harvard professor of law Laurence Tribe. “Will The Donald start calling ‘his’ three justices traitors? Will he say they have a ‘death wish’ as he did with McConnell?”

Weissmann took another hit at Trump’s Lawsuit, declaring it “nutty.”

“Trump argument to SCOTUS: 11th circuit had power to stay Cannon decision BUT it [could] not take the classified docs away from SM Dearie review. Nutty and if he won Dearie wd just say he won’t review the docs bc they are not Trump’s.”

University of Texas School of Law professor of law Steve Vladeck says that while the lawsuit is “not *entirely* laughable,” but he thinks “it’s both (1) doomed to fail; and (2) unlikely to accomplish much even if it succeeds.”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says, “I would not be surprised if the Supreme Court decides not to hear it.”

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case

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Donald Trump on Tuesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his classified documents case, and reverse a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the U.S. Dept. of Justice access to the more than 100 classified and top secret documents federal agents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.

Trump is asking the nation’s highest court to order a special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents, despite the special master emphatically stating the government, not Trump, gets to decide what is classified and what is not, especially when Trump refused to provide a list of what he considered declassified.

The lawsuit, which is a massive 240 pages, mostly made up of other documents including the now infamous FBI photo of the classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago rug, is addressed to “The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit,” and refers to the former president as “President Trump.”

The lawsuit also mentions the contents that federal agents took, including “89 empty envelopes,” while not noting they were classified document envelopes.

“As part of the 11th Circuit’s decision, the panel allowed the criminal investigation to use the seized documents, something [Judge] Cannon had previously barred,” The Washington Post notes. “Trump’s filing seeks only to reverse the appeals court’s ruling on the special master’s access to the documents, not the part of the decision concerning the investigation.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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Biden Will Include DeSantis in His Visit to Support Florida Hurricane Victims

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President Joe Biden will travel to Florida Wednesday to support families devastated by Hurricane Ian, and will include the state’s GOP governor, Ron DeSantis, in his trip, the White House announced Tuesday.

Last week, asked if he would meet with DeSantis, a top detractor of the president, Biden told a reporter who asked, “I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.”

“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically, this is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses,” Biden also said last week.

DeSantis asked President Biden for financial assistance for his state, battered by what experts say is one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history. DeSantis voted against relief aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy when he served in Congress.

President Biden and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel via Air Force One to Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit areas of Florida by Hurricane Ian.

READ MORE: Watch: 2024 Presidential Hopeful Ron DeSantis Says ‘Cause for Concern Cause’ With Democrats Moving to Florida

But Fort Myers is also part of Lee County, where officials delayed evacuation orders.

“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” The New York Times reported. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”

“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” the Times added. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”

The St. Louis Post Dispatch blasted the Florida GOP governor, calling his “flip-flop on hurricane relief” a “study in right-wing hypocrisy.”

READ MORE: ‘Premeditated, Fraudulent, and Illegal’: Asylum Seekers Sue DeSantis After Being Sent to Martha’s Vineyard

“DeSantis’ willingness to shelve his usual attacks on the Biden administration to politely request emergency federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian is an inspiring example of constructive bipartisanship — as is Biden’s announcement that the government will bear a big part of the expense,” the Dispatch Editorial Board stated. “It’s interesting, though, that DeSantis took exactly the opposite stance a decade ago when he joined other hard-right members of Congress who argued against generous federal recovery aid when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast.”

Over the weekend DeSantis was blasted by volunteer relief aid workers who were delayed for hours in distributing “food, water, medicine, diapers, and anything else people needed” so Gov. DeSantis could get a photo-op.

 

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