Okla. lawmaker: Vet citizenship of non-English-speaking schoolkids

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A new Republican caucus in the Oklahoma House is suggesting that more than 80,000 non-English speaking students in public schools be turned over to federal immigration officials.

Broken Arrow Republican Rep. Mike Ritze told News9 in an interview Wednesday that the newly created Republican Platform Caucus believes the state could save $60 million if it would identify what the caucus believes is 82,000 non-English speaking students "and then turn them over" to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to determine if they are citizens.

It's unclear from the segment if he was referring to turning over the students' names or the students themselves.

Ritze also questioned whether the state should have to educate children who aren't citizens.

A 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision holds states cannot deny students a free public education based on their immigration status.

Ritze wasn't at the Capitol on Thursday and didn't reply to phone messages or emails.

Ryan Kiesel, who heads the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, described the caucus' suggestion as "disgustingly inhumane."



 
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