Newspaper clipping headlined, "Texas to sue U.S. for funds to teach aliens," July 23, 1980
Newspaper clipping headlined, "Texas to sue U.S. for funds to teach aliens," July 23, 1980, by George Kuempel, Dallas Morning News. Article describes Attorney General Mark White's decision to sue the United States government for funds required to educate children of undocumented immigrants.
Clippings (information artifacts)
White, Mark, 1940-
EducationLitigationEmigration and immigration
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
The Dallas Morning News
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
Mexico and Latin America Relations Division | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Mark WhiteEducation ReformImmigration
Clements Texas Papers
Texas to sue U.S. for funds to teach aliens CAL LAS ri JUL 93 .80 By GEORGE KUEMPEL Aaiun Borten of The %ewe AUSTIN — State Atty. Gen. Mark White said Tuesday he plans to sue the federal government for the cost of educating illegal aliens if federal appeals courts uphold an order re- quiring Texas taxpayers to pick up the tab. The ruling Monday by U.S. that. Judge Woodrow Seals of Houston punishes Texas taxpayers for the fed- eral government's failure to enforce immigration laws, White said. He said he will appeal Seals' ruling "as quickly as possible" and will ask the courts to delay implementation of the order pending the appeal. Seals cleared the way for thou,. sands of illegal aliens to enter Texas public schools when he struck down the states 1975laW that prohibits use of state funds for their education. Texas is the only state that bans the use of state funds for educating aliens. As a_result, most of the state's 1,100 school disuuts require them to pay tuition or refuse to admit them. About 100,000 children of illegal aliens, mostly Mexicans, would be eli- gible to attend public schools without charge at a cost of $100 mil- lion a year to the taxpayers if the or- der stands, a survey conducted for the state indicated. Only 10,000 to 20,000 children in Texas would be affected, White said the ruling "points out very dramatizally the failure on the part of the federal government to en- force the immigration laws in this nation." and the taxpayers of Texas are having to "shoulder :he burden." -We're faced with the possible $200 million in costs to the taxpayer (over two years) and of broadening the base of bilingual education in Texas to include children of undocu- mented workers. We're not opposed to educating children in this state, but what we're opposed to is being re- quired to educate children who are not lawfully in the state," he said. "The problem is there because of the federal government's failure to enforce the law." • White said he plansto sue the fed- eral government for the cost of edu- cating those children if the order is upheld. — "We may be involved in litigation which would seek federal funds for the state in order to pay for the fail- ure of the federal government to en- force its own laws," White said. "If the federal government wrote the check for this, we wouldn't be complaining," he said. "We're not op- posed to educating children. They need to be educated. It's a shame they are not. But the first order of busi- ness is that the American citizens have the first call on the services of our education system." White said Such litigation would be based "on the theory that has been developed in other courts that if the federal government fails to enforce its rules and regulations, we (the states) can look to them for compen- sation." U.S. Immigration and Naturaliza- tion officials acknowledge they are unable to curb the flood of job-seek- mg illegal aliens. Gov. Bill Clements estimated 3 million undocumented Mexicans work in Texas, and said the number is growing by the day. White, whc has been at odds with Clements on many issues, endorsed Clements' demands for Washington to deal swiftly with the immigration problem. Congress and the president have been reluctant to address the prob. lem for "political" reasons, Clements said. "Go. Clements has stated it time and time againand I think anybody that has taken the time to observe the problem will recognize that our immigration laws are a complete fail- ure," White said. Rueben Bonilla, national presi- dent of the League of United Latin American Citizens, blasted White's decision to appeal Seals' ruling. Praising the decision as "long overdue," Bonilla warned that White's actions "will be remembered by the hispanic community in fur- ther statewide political elections." "The ruling is consistent with our constitutional principles which de- clare unequivocally that all persons are entitled to equal protection of the law and due process," Bonilla said. "What all Texans seem to forget is that undocumented workers pay taxes in their country, but receive few if any social services, " he said. "It is grossly inaccurate to allege that the Texas school system will be bank- rupt as a result of this new ruling."