You are on page 1of 3


ESSAY. Please formulate a question about an issue of significance about which

thoughtful people disagree. Then in an original essay of approximately 600 to 800
words, present your analysis of the issue and your response to the question, noting
the strongest competing arguments.
Our faculty committee will place special emphasis on the significance and clear
focus of the question you pose as well as on your account of competing arguments
and on the quality of the evidence, thinking, and writing shown in your analysis and
response. Please provide appropriate acknowledgment of any sources on which you
have relied.
Should children of undocumented immigrants be allowed free public education?
In 2010, there were 1 million unauthorized immigrants under age 18 in the
U.S., as well as 4.5 million U.S.-born children whose parents were unauthorized [1].
With such significant numbers of children of undocumented immigrants,
controversial issues involving them can no longer be ignored. One major issue is
whether or not children of undocumented immigrants should be allowed free public
education. This disagreement is on many different levels, ranging from legality to
morality. Everybody wants kids to get a good education, but where do we draw the
To some, the solution seems clear; if they are undocumented, legal
declarations should not be applied to them. Since undocumented immigrants are
unauthorized to be here, they and their children should not receive the privileges
that citizens receive such as public education. They believe that if immigrants are
breaking the law, it is not fair for them to be benefiting from it. In 1982, the
Supreme Court found that all children living in the United States have the right to a
public education, whatever their immigration status [2]. Those against free public
education for children of undocumented immigrants disagree completely with this
ruling, yet those in favor of public education for these children are satisfied. One
important claim that these supporters have is that a child can have documented
status even if their parents do not. Also, children of undocumented parents did not
choose to come here and should not be punished. Trying to go against this federal
law would be taking away the right to education to innocent children, legal or not.
Considering the economic situation, money is a concern for many and greatly
influences ones opinion. Public education is funded by the government through
taxes, and therefore any taxpayer is in turn paying for the education of all children.
Individuals against public education for the children of undocumented immigrants

often feel that they should not have to pay for services for the undocumented, or
their kin. They believe that undocumented immigrants do not put money into the
system, so all of the money being spent on those children is coming from the
pockets of legal people. This is where they are mistaken. Most immigrants do pay
taxes, yet they use very few of the services. They are contributing so much into the
economic system, through Social Security, property taxes, and sales taxes yet are
asking almost nothing in return besides the education of their children. If they are
contributing to the funding, why would they not be entitled to services such as
public education? Many undocumented immigrants come to the U.S. so their
children can have a better education and a brighter future. If they are paying taxes
just like citizens, they and their families should be given the right to the services
they are paying for as well, at the least public education for the children.
I believe that this should not be a question of legality nor economics, but
about the values that this country was founded upon. The United States is a nation
of immigrants and without them would not be what it is today. The nation should
treasure the diversity that immigrants bring to this nation and do whatever they can
to improve the individuals that compile it because that is the future of the country.
When people say that undocumented immigrants only bring problems to this
country, causing unemployment and criminal activity, they are poorly misinformed.
People need to look at the bigger picture and not be so close minded. Yes, some
undocumented immigrants end up being criminals, but so do legal immigrants and
people native to the United States. Not allowing children of undocumented
immigrants the right to public education not only is going against the law, but will
only lead to more problems. If the children are here, by no fault of their own, and
are not allowed a public education, it is quite likely that they simply will not go to
school. Most undocumented immigrant parents work very hard to earn a sufficient
amount to survive in this country and would not be able to spare taking off time
from work or quit their job to stay home with their children. This would leave so
many children with nothing to do, out on the streets together which usually leads to
the criminal activity and unproductive members of society people want to prevent.
People against the free public education for children of undocumented immigrants
are not looking down the road, but solely at the economics of the situation and how
they might be affected currently, however misinformed they are. In the end, I
believe this should be a simple decision; every child should have the right to an
education, no matter where they come from, how they got here, or their legal

[1] "A Nation of Immigrants." Pew Hispanic Center RSS. Pew Research Center, 29
Jan. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
[2] Griffee, Susannah L. "Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public
Education?" The Learning Network. The New York Times, 6 Oct. 2011. Web. 29 Sept.