by David Safier
A slew of prominent Democratic elected officials spoke out in a letter against Sheriff Dupnik's statement that we should check the legal status of children in our public schools. Now the Pima County Democratic Party has joined in. This week its Executive Council voted unanimously for a formal Resolution Supporting the Protection of Children.
Whereas, certain members of the law enforcement community have recently made public their desire to ask children in public schools for proof of citizenship, and
Whereas, we are a nation of immigrants, a nation whose strength has always come from its people working hard and seeking better lives, and
Whereas, our nation’s founding document declares, “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” and
Whereas, Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Equal Protection Clause of the XIV Amendment prohibits schools from adopting or taking actions that would deny students access to education based on their immigration status, is the law of the land, and
Whereas, Justice Brennan argued in Plyler that:
“Some classifications are more likely than others to reflect deep-seated prejudice, rather than legislative rationality in pursuit of some legitimate objective. Legislation predicated on such prejudice is easily recognized as incompatible with the constitutional understanding that each person is to be judged individually and is entitled to equal justice under the law,” and
Whereas, meaningful immigration law and policy reform must recognize the economic reality that local, state, and federal economies depend upon immigrant workers and that global economic restructuring has fueled the migration of millions of workers worldwide, and
Whereas, research and empirical data in many independent studies shows immigrants are less likely to commit crime than their U.S.-born counterparts.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT, We, the Pima County Democratic Party, in accordance with our platform, stand firmly opposed to any steps taken at the local, state, or national levels which seek to undermine Plyler vs. Doe, and we strongly reject any statements which attempt to link undocumented immigrants to increases in crime rates and social problems.
The letter and the resolution are as clear and definitive as statements can be. It's a shame the cause of all this is a statement by a fellow Dem, but it gives me hope that Democrats are getting their nerve back.