State Rep. Randy Terrill, a Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, has authored a bill — Quality of Education Assessment for Oklahoma Citizens Act of 2010 — which would mandate that public school districts “measure and assess” how many of the enrolled students are illegally here and are illegal aliens. by Isabel Lyman
Rep. Randy Terrill Fights Illegal Aliens in Oklahoma
Isabel Lyman | John Birch Society
09 March 2010
The legislator most responsible for bringing comprehensive immigration reform — the law-and-order kind — to the Sooner State presses on.
State Rep. Randy Terrill, a Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, has authored a bill — Quality of Education Assessment for Oklahoma Citizens Act of 2010 — which would mandate that public school districts “measure and assess” how many of the enrolled students are here illegally.
One purpose of the assessment? To learn what the cost is to legal Oklahomans.
It’s a fair query.
And a pertinent one.
The education of these children is no small endeavor. Taxpayers have a right to know those numbers, as do lawmakers who bear the responsibility of crafting and voting for state budgets. Citing statistics compiled by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), of Washington, D.C., Terrill estimates that in 2006 Oklahoma spent $160 million a year educating students who are unlawfully in the United States. Nationwide the total K-12 public school expenditure for illegal immigrant education costs the states nearly $12 billion annually.
Americans have to thank the U.S. Supreme Court for this educational budget buster.
In a 5-to-4 majority vote, the Supremes, in the case known as Plyler v. Doe (1982), ruled that states cannot withhold education funding to children who are illegal aliens. This, despite the fact that Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., writing for the majority, opined that “public education is not a ‘right’ granted to individuals by the Constitution.”
That confession, from an unapologetic liberal no less, is of scant comfort to those who, today, bear the burden for instructing those students due to this bizarre foray into judicial activism.
Meanwhile, in late Februar the Oklahoma legislature’s House Appropriations and Budget Committee passed, in late February, Terrill’s measure by a 16-0 vote, and the bill will soon be voted on by the full House. But the legislative success hasn’t prevented Terrill’s critics from publicly castigating him.
The Oklahoman’s (the Sooner State’s largest newspaper and once famously dubbed as the ‘worst newspaper in America’ by the Columbia Journalism Review) editorial page has already fired a shot at the state representative, declaring that Terrill is “ramping up his anti-illegal immigrant crusade.” Patricia Fennell of the Latino Community Development Agency of Oklahoma City stated that he is “engaging in personal politics and wasting taxpayers’ time and money.” Terrill has affirmed that the cost to taxpayers, of collecting the data, would be minimal. As for the Oklahoman? The newspaper is arguably ramping up its anti-consent-of-the-governed crusade.
Three years ago Terrill authored the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, which went into effect on November 1, 2007, and, among other things, mandated that businesses verify their employees’ work authorization status and made it a state crime to knowingly “transport, harbor, or shelter” illegal aliens. The verification provision of the law has survived a legal challenge, but other sections are being sent back to district court.
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For his legislative efforts, Terrill has become something of a national folk hero to everyday citizens and legal residents, who rarely have such a fearless champion in this contentious debate.
But, thankfully, they now do, as Randy Terrill continues to do his best to ensure, as he puts it, that “Oklahoma is no longer OK for illegal aliens.”
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