Immigration Law

On the Importance of Plyler v. Doe

Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, Sept. 10, 2018 - "Plyler v. Doe addressed questions that are central to ongoing debates about both education and immigration and that get to the heart of what schoolchildren and undocumented migrants have in common: vulnerability. ... Court-watchers have tended to consider Plyler insignificant because the Court’s holding was narrow. But in “The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind” (Pantheon) Justin Driver, a law professor at the University of Chicago, argues that this view of Plyler is wrong. “Properly understood,” Driver writes, “it rests among the most egalitarian, momentous, and efficacious constitutional opinions that the Supreme Court has issued throughout its entire history.”  Driver is not alone in this view. In “No Undocumented Child Left Behind” (2012), the University of Houston law professor Michael A. Olivas called Plyler “the apex of the Court’s treatment of the undocumented.” In “Immigration Outside the Law” (2014), the U.C.L.A. law professor Hiroshi Motomura compared Plyler to Brown and described its influence as “fundamental, profound, and enduring.” "

[See also, Public Education for Immigrant Students: Understanding Plyler v. Doe.]