Free Education for Undocumented Children

Should undocumented children receive a free education in the US public school systems?

I came up with this question while participating in an educational class. The class had a discussion on how immigrant children were incorporated in classrooms in the US education system where the majority of the students were English speakers as a first language. Surprisingly, these students take part in the classes and rarely interrupt due to language barriers. In addition, I got interest in this question from the fact that the education system offers these undocumented students extra classes and teachers with the aim of assisting them to on their learning.

Further, the stories in the news about children being deported after graduation seem to me as unnecessarily. Debatably, it makes no sense to waste time, money, and resources educating a child then deport them back to their home country. In essence, these resources are not utilized in the USA, for the reason the deported students carry along with them variable knowledge that would have been useful in America.

In an attempt to gather more information on the subject matter, I took the time to indulge the views of various people on their beliefs system on the issue. Apparently, most people believe that Americans are lazy, and only sit around and complain about foreigners taking up jobs and opportunities. Arguably, the foreigners are always willing to do anything in their power to get an extra dollar, in this regard, the locals should not complain about the foreigners taking up these opportunities. In essence, who are we to complain if we cannot do the same, I personally just do not want anyone to come here collect and leave. Put it back in the pool when you can do better.

Who Should Care About This Question?

Everyone should care about the issue of free education for the undocumented children in America. Arguably, this issue affects every citizen and non-citizen planning to live or living and getting an education in the United States. Additionally, this issue affects taxpayer’s pockets; this is because these taxpayers are the ones who finance public education. Additionally, undocumented children threaten the job markets after graduation due to the scarcity of jobs. Further, the ever-surging numbers of immigrants tend to present an issue of unregulated housing.

Finally, the issue of overreliance on the system to fund the number of immigrants who, in essence, are poor gradually strains the economy. Statistics shows that in the year 2013, the total number of undocumented immigrants was 11.1 million, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean had the largest share of these immigrants. Indicatively, Asia had a significant number of the immigrants at 1.4 million. Further, the research indicates that 80% of all the immigrants are Hispanic and Latinos (Farris ; Riemann 2013).

How Did You Find The Written Sources To Answer This Question?

The process of gathering this information was relatively complicated; in essence, the research used multiple search engines to collect the information. Firstly, the study utilized the use of Google books that are available online; the purpose of using these books is to derive a primary perspective of the subject matter. Books are credible given the permanency they offer. However, the characteristic of law is that it is flexible, and the ruling of Plyler V. Doe may have been amended or repealed over time. For this reason, the research also employed the use of journals and articles reviewed by various scholars and more updated. The use of journals aided in tracking the changes that the law has witnessed in the course of time.

Thesis Statement

There are two reasons why the issue of according free public education for undocumented children needs evaluation. The first is in cognizance of the law, and arguably, the case pitting Plyler V. Doe lays the foundation for legal argument on the subject matter. The second is the social implications of, not according these undocumented children an education. The consequences of denying this segment of the population, education may prove detrimental to the social fabrics.


In essence, the issue of illegal immigrants is a matter that most developed nations will continuously grapple with the issue. Arguably, most immigrants leave their countries due to the inhabitable conditions that they experience back home. In addition, immigrants are lured to developed countries such as the United States of America due to the endless opportunities they perceive available. Surprisingly by the year, 2009 about 2.4 million children and young adults below 24 years were undocumented (Perez 2009). In addition, it is estimated that more than seventy percent of the undocumented children cross the border unaccompanied by their parents or any adult caregiver. Objectively, the following essay will seek to evaluate the viability of free education for the undocumented children in public school systems.


An undocumented child is one who either individually or in the company of adults enters the United States of America without inspection or legal documentation. Additionally, in the case where one legally obtained documentation but these papers have since expired. Further, in the event that a minor presented false documents in entering into the mainland. Consequently, these children pose a legal and social quagmire for the state, the question of whether to deport these children is relatively tricky. In principle, the United States must operate in cognizance of the human rights and the rights of a child

Legal Reason

Plyler V. Doe

In principle, the law guarantees equal rights to free education for both documented, and undocumented children; conversely, no state law should be used to limit or subjugate an undocumented child’s quest for education. Illustratively, in the case pitting Plyler vs. Doe (457 U.S. 202 (1982), the Supreme Court accorded undocumented children this unconditional right to primary and secondary education (Welner & Chi 2008). Objectively, Plyler vs. Doe sort to put to task the city of Texas on whether the city intended to enact laws that denied the undocumented children a right to free education. In addition, the petition put to task the manner in which the society in Texas dealt with the issue of immigrants.

Consequently, the law outlaws any denial for enrollment into a school based on documentation, in addition, any engagement in practices that may limit the right to education. Additionally, the law outlaws any indifferent treatment in the determination of residency; furthermore, the law outlaws any attempt to force a parent into disclosing their immigration status. The court in interpretation of the law established that 14th amendment of the equal protection Act applies to all the people residing in the United States of America regardless of citizenship.

The Plyler case sets precedence for various issues that may arise intertwined with the issue of free public education. Conclusively, the case sets precedence on the issue of a requirement for public elementary and secondary schools to offer free education for undocumented children. In this regard, the case sets it as a requirement for the public schools to offer free education. Secondly, the Plyler sets precedence for other secondary services that the undocumented children may have a right to access.

In the question of whether the undocumented students have a right to receive other secondary services such transportation, health care and meals. The case sets precedence in asserting that these secondary services are directly related to the education of the children. Debatably, in any court case the conformist opinion would most likely rule that free education would not be comprehensive if there were a limitation on secondary services.

Lau V. Nichols

In effect, the law provides for students rights to equal education more specifically for the immigrants and the none- English speakers. According to the superintendent’s bulletin issue 99 A-02, these immigrant students have express rights to free public education from kindergarten until the age of 21 years regardless of the state of their immigration status. The case was pitting Lau V. Nichols also underlines the laws defense of the right to education for aliens, in the case (Salomone 2010).

Principally, the court ruled that the absence of English lessons for Chinese nationals subjugated their participation in public education. Arguably, although this case does not apply to free education reaffirms the judicial systems willingness to accord undocumented children a leeway in education. Additionally, the recent campaign by propagators of the K-12 education indicates a willingness by stakeholders to involve the undocumented students free education programs.

Indicatively, most of this laws apply to immigrant children and not necessary to undocumented children. Debatably, not all immigrants are undocumented and, therefore, most times the law is used selectively depending on the state of an application. For instance, in most states in the United States of America children brought into the country illegally by their parents are not eligible for any form of financial aid.

Arguably, even with the existence of previous laws that were meant to protect the right to education, these undocumented children still face discrimination especially in financial aid and the payment of tuition fee. Additionally, the provision of free primary and secondary education may not be enough to guarantee these children employment. Fundamentally, these children require meaningful higher education that guarantees them a realistic chance of future employment.