Fox News personality Sean Hannity suggested Wednesday that undocumented migrant children should be denied an education in the U.S. because they had “broken the law.”
Hannity was speaking to Jim Desmond, supervisor for District 5 in San Diego County, California, about teachers being given the option to teach unaccompanied migrant children in person.
Desmond argued that American children that should also be given the opportunity for a return to in-person classrooms. Reopening schools is currently a major issue, particularly among Republican critics of President Joe Biden.
“I’m trying to understand this. It’s illegal to enter this country. If you enter this country without our permission, you’ve broken the law,” Hannity said.
“Now after you’re in the country illegally, now you have to get educated? Can your district say, ‘Sorry, but we’re not going to aid and abet lawbreaking’?
“I know it’s a sanctuary state out there in the united socialist utopia known as California. But I would imagine if you stood for the rule of law, you might have a strong case to make.”
“Well, my understanding is that if they’re here, they’re—constitutionally, we’re required to educate them,” Desmond replied.
According to the ACLU, all children in the U.S. have the right to an education regardless of their immigration status.
“All kids living in the United States have the right to a free public education. And the Constitution requires that all kids be given equal educational opportunity no matter what their race, ethnic background, religion, or sex, or whether they are rich or poor, citizen or non-citizen,” the ACLU’s website says.
“Even if you are in this country illegally, you have the right to go to public school. The ACLU is fighting hard to make sure this right isn’t taken away.”
“In fact, even though some kids may complain about having to go to school, the right to an equal educational opportunity is one of the most valuable rights you have,” the site says.
Undocumented migrants—particularly children—have become the focus of public debate again in recent weeks due in part to the large numbers of migrants entering the U.S. through the southern border.
Many of those brought into the country illegally as children could soon be placed on a path to legal status and citizenship. Democrats in the House of Representatives have already passed the Dream and Promise Act, a potential landmark piece of legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for about 2.5 million people. However, the bill has yet to pass the evenly divided Senate.