Washington, D.C. - The Center for American Progress today
released a report,
"Triumphs and Challenges on the 30th Anniversary of
Plyler v. Doe
," which examines the landmark Supreme Court decision
Plyler v. Doe, which guaranteed the right to a public
education for all children, regardless of their immigration
status. That decision, issued 30 years ago tomorrow, has
been a beacon of American values, ensuring that all
children have the ability to become educated, integrated,
and economically productive.
For its entire lifetime the Plyler decision has been under
attack from immigration restrictionists, and today laws
such as Alabama's harsh anti-immigrant law, H.B. 56, have
been designed by their creators to directly challenge
Plyler and to force today's more conservative Supreme Court
to rehear the case-and to ultimately strike it down. As our
report details, striking down Plyler would be economically,
politically, and socially costly to the United States.
It is no coincidence that the 30th anniversary of Plyler v.
Doe occurs on the same day that
magazine chose to highlight the commonality of the
undocumented narrative in a
blockbuster cover story by Jose Antonio Vargas, who
came out" as an undocumented person one year ago. The
plight of undocumented immigrants such as Vargas and the
continuing significance of the Plyler decision is becoming
louder and clearer as the Supreme Court gets ready to
decide the fate of Arizona's anti-immigration law, S.B.
Angela Maria Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy
and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress,
In 1982 the Supreme Court stood by undocumented immigrant
youth and ensured them a chance to learn. We celebrate the
Court's wisdom. Now, 30 years later, Jose Vargas reminds us
that the job is not done. If given the chance, America's
youth, whether native or foreign born, will grow stronger,
and we as a nation will grow alongside them. It's the story
of every generation-a quintessential American story. The
time is now for the Courts, Congress and the White House to
carry the story forward, not backwards.
Vargas described the reality of America's undocumented
immigrants like himself when he wrote:
We are working with you, going to school with you, paying
taxes with you. … what exactly do you want to do with us?
More importantly, when will you realize that we are one of