The Horne Amnesty Plan
In a February 17, 2007 article, the East Valley Tribune feature titled “Arizona taxpayers spend up to $1.2 billion annually to educate children of illegal immigrants”, Horne is on record with a plan of his own for granting amnesty and citizenships to illegal immigrants who graduate high school and take a test. A portion of the Tribune article discussed Horne’s plan:
Horne has a plan that would reward high school graduates with citizenship. All they would have to do is pass a test.
“If there’s a standardized test that confirms it, that the student does well and learned, I would have no objection to that,” Horne said.
But Rodriguez said Horne’s proposal would create an incentive for immigrants to break the law while there are other people waiting in line to become citizens.
“They’re doing it the right way,” Rodriguez said. “Why should these people step in the front of the line and break another rule?”
The bottom line, Horne said, is that illegal immigration is the parents’ fault – not the children’s fault.
“Let’s fight the Supreme Court again,” Rodriguez said. “And let’s see what happens.” The article can still be read on the Tribune’s website here: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/article_42d1e9c7-6997-5863-930f-4af0c650d70f.html
At a June 18, 2009 meeting of the Pachyderm Coalition, Horne told the group that he was opposed to overturning Plyler vs. Doe and stated that, “I am a proponent of education for illegal immigrant children,” and, “I would not let kids stay uneducated.”
Also, in 2009, Horne opposed legislation that would have Arizona schools ask students whether they were in the country legally. This legislation would not have stopped giving tuition-free education to illegal immigrant students. However, it would have set up a legal challenge to 1982 Supreme Court ruling Plyler vs. Doe. This ruling said that all children have a constitutional right to a free, taxpayer-funded public education, even when those children are living in the United States illegally. Since 1982, the court has become more conservative, and many legal analysts believe that today’s court might rule differently on the issue were the court presented with a similar case.
An article by Howard Fischer that appeared in the Arizona Daily Star article on April 28, 2009 (seehttp://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/article_513c62d6-3675-5680-9b49-d7e801b0c57b.html ) quoted Tom Horne opposing this bill. Interestingly, Horne was aligning himself with Terry Goddard vs. Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio, as both Brewer and Arpaio supported the bill. A portion of the Arizona Daily Star article:“…a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decisionappears to make it illegal for school officials to ask. In a 5-4 decision, the justices overturned a Texas law that authorized school districts to refuse to enroll anyone who couldn’t prove legal residence.
But Dupnik said it may be time for Arizona to have a test case to put the issue back before the high court — to see if the current justices agree.
Dupnik has the backing of Yuma County Sheriff Ralph Ogden and Joe Arpaio, his Maricopa County counterpart. And Gov. Jan Brewer said she sees no reason why youngsters shouldn’t be asked to prove they are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
“When I grew up, when I went to school, when I moved from Nevada to California, I had to bring my birth certificate to prove I was a citizen,” she said.
But Attorney General Terry Goddard said he doesn’t think schools have the expertise to determine legal status. And state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said he believes the federal government should just do a better job of protecting the border.
“But as long as kids are here, they should be in school,” he said. “You don’t want them on the street corner.”