ustxtxb_obs_2007_07_13_50_00021-00000_000.pdf

Page 8

by

edee-tate THE BIRTHDAY OF JOHN HENRY FAULK AUSTIN S FIRST AMENDMENT HERO AUGUST 2 1 , 8 1 PM ZILKER HILLSIDE THEATER ZILKER PARK, AUSTIN, TX JOHN HENRY FAULK IN HIS OWN WORDS’ A NEW 55-MINUTE DOCUMENTARY NARRATED BY CACTUS PRYOR PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY PAM THOMPSON WRITTEN AND EDITED BY STEFAN WRAY FREE PREVIEW SCREENING FOR DETAILS SEE ICONMEDIA.ORG Save Barton Creek .,\\\\ Association I I Cultural Arts Division TEXAS COMMISSION MARTS wriimoltrortk AV1′ SgM? AMAMI PACT This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. 111111M1 to assuage the fears of those who saw Plyler as the beginning of a host of rights for undocumented immigrants. Finally, he conceded, “You would be dealing with people above the age of majority?’ The “innocent factor” would not be the same. By 2001, a steady trickle of stories about undocumented immigrant valedictorians unable to attend college began appearing in the media. That year Texasthe first state to try to exclude undocumented students from its public schools became the first to offer them in-state tuition at its colleges and universities, provided they attended a Texas high school for three years and earned a diploma or obtained a GED. Since 2001, there have been bipartisan efforts in Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would offer a path to legalization to students who grow up in the United States and attend college or join the military. The most recent version of the DREAM Act died last month, along with the vast stew of proposals that went into the Senate immigration bill. Immigration itself, of course, is never “settled,” despite the rhetoric of those who speak about “solving immigration,” as if they were discussing a quadratic equation rather than the complex set of forces that cause people to migrate. In increasing numbers, state legislatures and city councils throughout the country have attempted to get into the immigration business. Some proclaim themselves sanctuary cities; oth “It is senseless for an enlightened society to deprive any childrenincluding illegal aliensof an elementary education.” ers attempt to adopt schemes, such as the one approved last May by voters in Farmers Branch, Texas, that would require landlords to verify the immigration status of their tenantsa variation of what Texas tried to ask principals to do more than 30 years ago and a roundabout method of doing away with Plyler v. Doe. If you make them miserable, the theory has it, they will just go away. Not long ago Laura Alvarez was asked if she followed the immigration debate. “A little bit,” she said. “I kind of see it from both sides?’ But she was certain of one thing: “Don’t try to take away education.” Former Observer editor Barbara Belejack is a 2007 Racial Justice Fellow of the Institute for Justice and Journalism at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, which provided funding for this article. To listen to the oral argument of Plyler v. Doe before the U.S. Supreme Court, read the transcript or the decision in the case, see http:// www. oyez. org/cases. JULY 13, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21