Anti-immigration group attacks Lee’s voucher proposal

Gov. Bill Lee speaks at an economic development announcement in Nashville on March 20, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

An anti-immigration group says Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed voucher program would be available to students who aren’t authorized to be in the country.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for curbing both legal and illegal immigration into the United States, cites the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe of 1982, which established that states must offer public education to all children, regardless of their immigration status.

According to the group:

Despite his promise to dry up incentives attracting illegal aliens to the United States, Governor Lee’s Education Savings Plan will inevitably provide school vouchers for illegal aliens. Vouchers use taxpayer funds and the Plyler holding prohibits school systems from determining which students are illegally in the U.S. Therefore, taxpayer monies can and will be provided for vouchers for illegal aliens.

18 Responses to Anti-immigration group attacks Lee’s voucher proposal

  • James White says:

    Stop taking Federal money and you can do whatever you want.

  • William Upton says:

    If not citizens then they should get nothing!

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    I don’t know, it’s tough to imagine a group of workers on a banana plantation in Guatemala sitting around and concluding that they simply have to get to Tennessee so they can take advantage of Bill Lee’s new voucher proposals. Beginning to free education in this country from the cold dead hand of the government monopoly is so important that just because a few illegals are able to take advantage of vouchers is no reason to do away with the program. On the other hand, making Tennessee one of the least desirable places in the U. S. in which to be an illegal immigrant is also very important so if it turns out that the voucher program is acting as a magnet for these people then CANCEL THE PROGRAM until we elect conservatives who won’t conjure up “rights” for people who shouldn’t be in this country in the first place.

  • Donna Locke says:

    Just a terrible idea in every way. Bill Lee really shows a lack of common sense and basic knowledge.

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Bill sold his soul for this legislation. There’s a group (Beacon Center, etc.) that bought his support. It was to get elected. Now, he has to do what he said he would. Price you pay to get elected. Lee doesnt favor this in real life. He is too moderate

  • MarLE says:

    We are not taking away Free, Supreme Court mandated, Public education…….Only a voucher to Escape from it. And denying the Escape Hatch, which is what a voucher is, Should be able to be offered only to Citizens. What is the problem here???????

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    It’s a good concept. It’s just insidious the way it is happening

  • Donna Locke says:

    Inequity in this instance would lie in the slots available in better schools and the competition between citizens and illegal aliens and their children for those slots.

    This is the situation with colleges, also.

    • MarLE says:

      And why do we have to give equal treatment in providing the “escape”? We apparently have to provide public education by Supreme Court 1983 ruling. But what ruling makes us provide the same treatment in the escape mechanism? Any court ruling on that?

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  • Christina Norris says:

    The devil’s in the details with this proposal. Here’s how the TSBA describes it:

    No fraud prevention and no accountability.

    • MarLE says:

      Rep Bill Dunn, who is carrying the Governor’s bill in the House, stated in an interview with Ralph Bristol that there would be identified uses (and therefor strict limits) for how the money can be spent. I always look at the source when “digesting” information. Teachers and any org associated with them are against this bill, period!

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