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If state mottoes were required to be honest, Kansas would be known as The Bad Idea State. It'd be written on the license plates.
A Kansas lawmaker's proposal to track the citizenship status of public schoolchildren has raised alarm in one of the state's most diverse communities, where district administrators worry that even raising the question with parents and students would damage the welcoming environment they have tried to create.
It's all innocent, of course: Rep. Allan Rothlisberg just wants to know for reasons.
"What I'm trying to get across here is where our tax money is being diverted to," Rothlisberg told The Garden City Telegram. "It's not going to our children or grandchildren."
So the bill would require parents enrolling a child to present proof of citizenship or a birth certificate. They wouldn't be turned away if they couldn't, but critics (we'll call them "critics," here, instead of my preferred "persons with two or more brain cells to rub together") point out that announcing a state law requesting proof of citizenship to enroll your child in school will, predictably, make undocumented parents even more fearful of enrolling their child in school. That's bad. Whether the parent is documented or not, it is in the best interests of the entire community to ensure that community children all receive a decent education. We want them to be educated. We want them to be able to get decent jobs. We want them to be able to participate in the local economy instead of being a burden on it; supposing our tax money is being "diverted" to pay for unauthorized children learning to read and write presupposes that teaching them to read and write is a bad thing on which to be spending tax money, which is both economically flawed and a very bastardy thing to think.
Rothlisberg said his bill would not cause any students to feel as if they're being discriminated, since all students would be required to provide documentation of legal presence.

"They feel alienated anyway because they know they're here illegally. So, I mean, they already know they're breaking the law," Rothlisberg said.

Oh, he seems nice.

Originally posted to Hunter on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM PST.

Also republished by Kansas & Missouri Kossacks, LatinoKos, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Does a lack of humanity and empathy (9+ / 0-)

    automatically make one a GOPer or TeaBuggerer?

    They seem to be connected at the hip.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:01:57 PM PST

    •  cripes (16+ / 0-)

      We went through this in Tennessee in the 1980s.  My friends, two sisters with grade school children, were summoned to their kids' schools.  They were told to bring the kids' birth certificates because their place of birth was New Mexico.  The sisters had to painfully explain to the teachers and adminstrators, supposedly college-educated people, that New Mexico was a STATE in the United States. Yes, our education system here sucks.

    •  Ay yi yi. Liberals can be so shortsighted. (0+ / 0-)

      Why can't you understand that allowing illegal aliens to come here by the millions and take jobs from Americans is bad public policy?  Progressives always complain about the destruction of America's middle class. But our Dem/liberal policies are the problem. They give away the house to illegal aliens.

      Illegals have destroyed blue collar wages over the past 40 years. Is it because they're not taking over your white collar jobs (yet) that you ignore the problem? Since the last big amnesty for illegal aliens in the 1980s, millions more have entered our country and helped themselves to resources that are denied to other potential immigrants willing to follow the rules. But since they're here, in our face demanding we house, feed, educate and provide medical care for their children, liberals seem to believe we need to cater to them and ignore the economic difficulties faced by those left behind in their countries of origin. Why is a child digging through garbage in Mexico City less of a priority for US progressives than a kid competing for resources in your own child's school? Can you not see the big picture of what your are creating by catering to illegal aliens?

      Since the 1970s, we've allowed millions more people to jump ahead of the line and take jobs and resources away from American blue collar citizens and legal immigrants.

      The next big push will do more than just degrade low end labor jobs. Now they're ready to go after professional Americans. Obama wants to replace NAFTA with TPP, get rid of H1B limitations and put the nail in the coffin of America's middle class. Pretty soon, our plutocratic Democrats will push through their so called "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." By comprehensive, they mean amnesty at the low end and massive immigration of tech workers to destroy America's professional careers. Sadly, liberals won't know what hit them until after the middle class has been completely destroyed.

      Meanwhile progressives think this immigration reform is all about being nice to some poor dewy-eyed farm workers. Nope. It's designed to destroy what American workers have created over the past 200 years of struggling against the greedy rich. We have OSHA workplace safety rules, minimum pay, child labor laws, overtime pay, paid vacation time, 40 hour work weeks, maternity leave, holidays and unions. We have really excellent salaries for professional work. We have created incredible employment rights: Worker's Compensation, Social Security, retirement plans and anti-discrimination laws. We don't have all this because the rich corporate owners want to be nice to us. We have it because Americans have demanded it. Americans have fought and died for the work standards, expectations and benefits we now enjoy. Now companies have figured out that they can outsource production for a fraction of the cost of paying Americans. But those cheap employees don't come without risk. Foreign factories are at higher risk for theft, electrical or computer down time, transportation problems, etc. because other countries don't have the public infrastructure that we all pay for here. So companies want to bring production back here, but pay employees what they would pay in other countries. Hence the big push for "comprehensive immigration reform."  Only this time, the plutocrats who own our government intend to  destroy our workplace standards and benefits as well as decrease wages. College students expecting a $40-80,000 job after graduation will find out that poor immigrants from overpopulated countries are happy to out-compete them by accepting $15-20,000 and working 80 hours/week without overtime pay. After all, our government will be offering American citizenship as part of the deal. Just think how well Google, IBM, Intel, HP, Microsoft, Dell and all those other high tech employers will do when they get their tax breaks for "creating jobs here in America," and filling them with cheap foreign labor.  Maybe some of that huge economic windfall will "trickle down" to our American PhDs working in Starbucks and Walmart... Democrats in Congress will implement what used to be know as Republican policies, and progressives will lead the charge demanding "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" to help destroy their own and their children's future careers.

      It's one thing when your neighbor can't feed his kids or pay for his house because he's a working class construction worker who can't compete against illegal aliens willing to work for less pay and no Workers' Comp/Social Security/OSHA rules. But it'll be a whole 'nother experience when today's liberals clambering for open borders have to compete for those high tech professional jobs with millions of people from overpopulated countries who are happy to work 60-80 hours a week for a third of what today's college graduates hoped to get in the fancy new careers. I guess it's going to take TPP and Congress' plan to import millions of foreign tech workers as part of their "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" before progressives finally figure it out. Is that what it's going to take before liberals realize that both left and right wing politicians don't really care about poor immigrants.

      Elected officials are mostly a bunch of plutocrats trying to ensure the rich get richer, as usual. Comprehensive immigration reform is just one more step along the path of the destruction of our middle class.

      The question is, will progressives figure this out before our Democrats screw us worse than the Republicans ever could?

      •  The most important thing you say is (0+ / 0-)

        Why do progressives prioritize children of people who've broken into our country over children who have to pick through garbage in Mexico in order to eat?

        Why can't progressives see the big picture?

        Those of us who follow immigration rules and are still waiting for a chance to live in America are not as important to America's progressives as those who flagrantly broke the roles and snuck into the US.

  •  This is actually already in place here in (6+ / 0-)

    Texas. When I moved down from Chicago, I had to get both my girls birth certificate to prove they were citizens for school. So Kansas is just taking a page out of anti-immigrant crazy Texas lawmakers.

    Fortunately for me, being tech savvy, I able to procure both certificates from both different states they were born in up north. Btw, it behooves a parent to actually GET a copy when their child is born, as the hospitals don't necessarily give the original anymore, requiring the parents to file for it and pay for it at the county courthouse.

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:04:31 PM PST

    •  Well, you were obviously a yankee, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      so, no wonder they gave you more scrutiny.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:15:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Illegal, should be challenged (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What they are allowed to ask for is not proof of citizenship status, but proof of age -- that's usually what the birth certificate is for. (In NH where my children attended school, there were children born in Canada, Puerto Rico, wherever -- no problem, but they needed documents to prove they were old enough to enroll.)

      •  They had my kids school records already, (0+ / 0-)

        so proof of age was not what the birth certificate was about. I had them shipped down when we moved, over the summer. This was purely about making sure they were citizens. And they were 12 and 14 at the time, so ummm, yeah, DEF of age to be in school.

        It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

        by LeftieIndie on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:04:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Leftie- Birth Certificates do not show Citizenship (0+ / 0-)

      status so you are not correct if you think showing your kids birth certificate was a tool used to determine citizenship status.

  •  Does one assume that our elected ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pragmatus, oldpotsmuggler

    government officials and peps are U.S. citizens? Rothlisberg, sounds foreign to me.

    If life weren't so damn hard, we’d have no need for fabric softeners.

    by glb3 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:14:06 PM PST

  •  New Kansas Vanity License Plate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    “When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” —Abraham Lincoln

    by Pragmatus on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:17:20 PM PST

  •  So, nevermind demanding accountability for (5+ / 0-)

    employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers, now we, as a country, are supposed to ignore the fact that thousands of children will grow up in our country illiterate and ill-equipped to function in the workplace? And they expect Latinos to vote for their party? Disgusting. Regardless of what your opinion of their parent's choices, these children will be americans. He's essentially advocating the creation of a permanent class of "undesirables" .

    "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." Muhammad Ali

    by blueoregon on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:22:09 PM PST

  •  I think Kansas would want you deported if you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, TDDVandy, oldpotsmuggler

    knew someone in Mexico. But there is NOTHING they can do about the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:24:41 PM PST

  •  Hey me your papers.... (3+ / 0-)

    not the white kid....the OTHER one.

  •  We had to show a BC when enrolling my kid in NC (4+ / 0-)

    However, the birth certificate had been packed away in boxes during the move. (still has not been found)

    So we brought out my kid's passport. And sure enough,
    the pencil pushing clerks had never seen a passport used to enroll for school and didn't know what to do with it.


    •  They want the documents THEY want (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, oldpotsmuggler

      And they exclude otherwise legal alternative documents just because.

      My guess: mostly laziness or fear of asking "the wrong question" of a executive somewhere higher on the food chain.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:03:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems should insist the birth certificates (0+ / 0-)

        be originals, certified, hand-delivered, require a handwritten receipt between parents and school, and anything else pain-in-the-ass they can think of.

        All the while, of course, smiling and agreeing what a great law this will be!

        Make every fucking parent in Kansas go through all that shit! Maybe they'll think twice about this stoopid shit going forward.

        "I did not have sex with that bridge"

        by Scottsdalian on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:46:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Proof of age, rather than citizenship? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpotsmuggler, Calamity Jean

      They are allowed to require proof that the child is old enough to enroll. That may be why the passport confused them, although you are correct that it should be adequate to prove both/either age and/or citizenship.

  •  Is it some kind of internal contest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nocynicism, Calamity Jean

    to out-do each other on this shit?  Does it equate to some kind of TeaBag Point System where they can cash in their tickets for prizes at CPAC?

    What's next?  

    If people in Kansas want to buy food they have to provide a list, at the time of purchase, of US-born individuals, with SSNs, that will be eating it.

    Freedom-loving citizens in Alabama will need to sign a legal affidavit at any dry cleaner that the clothes they are picking up do not, and have not ever, been soiled by doing undocumented labor.

    Any agency applying for state money in Nebraska will have to provide documentation that they have personally helped identify, name, lead to or forcibly deport 1 brown person for each $1000 dollars requested.  Some programs shall be designated as exempt from this requirement if they are related to promoting gun safety, religious liberty, or issues to be deemed related to the 'sanctity of human life'.

    There will be a $15 per person excise fee, collected at the border, for any non-resident traveling into or through the state Mississippi.  This fee shall be waived provided the non-resident affirms, in writing, that they have never touched a homosexual.

    A $5,000 tax shall be placed on any electric vehicle sold in the state of Oklahoma unless the purchases can prove they are only buying as a matter of personal preference to similar gas-powered models and not as a result of a belief in anthropogenic global warming.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:30:47 PM PST

  •  I am not sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that Rep. Rothlisberg knows what he is doing.  It will probably be difficult for his constituents to procure their kids' birth certificates from Mars or wherever it is that they came from.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:15:20 PM PST

  •  I live in Kansas (0+ / 0-)

    and I remember having to provide birth certificates for each of my children when they were first enrolled in school.  They, in turn, provided birth certificates for their kids at first enrollment or when moving to a different school district.  All of us were born in Kansas and have attended or are attending school.  I could be wrong, but...

    Not that I don't agree that Kansas is a sucky state.  This current Rep. and all his fellow Republicans continue to prove it.

  •  Rothy's my rep (0+ / 0-)

    and he's become a laughingstock.  My friend Tom Brungardt is the presumptive Democratic nominee against him and should take him down easily.  

    Rothy won his race by a narrow margin and then proceeded to go all bugfuck, but so did the rest of his radical right colleagues.

    He has the distinction however of being the only politician I know of who was referred to by Matt Taibbi of "Rolling Stone" as "a man who is the shape and color of a red bartlett pear."  I assure you that is accurate as someone who has met the man.  Rothy is roundbottomed teabagger and has some rosacea.  Of course, as a retired Lieutenant Colonel, his face cream is paid for with our tax dollars.  I suspect on the day he retired from the Army the Unit saved their partying spirit for the day afterward so they could be surer he was good and gone.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 02:05:25 PM PST

  •  SCOTUS ruled on this decades ago (0+ / 0-)

    though it might not hold up given the current court. But I believe it's also embedded in Federal education and civil rights laws, so any school that discriminates could lose all Federal funding. Maybe the True Believers would consider that a plus, but I doubt the parents and teachers would.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has information about its challenge to North Carolina restrictions that are less onerous than the Kansas ones but still (allegedly) discriminatory. They write:

    The discrimination encountered by these children is a violation of Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bar discrimination on the basis of national origin in federally funded public schools, according to the complaint. The complaint also notes that the U.S. Supreme Court held in Plyler v. Doe that it is unconstitutional to deny a child present in the United States a public education, regardless of their federal immigration status.
  •  Of COURSE Your Tax Money's Not Going to Your (4+ / 0-)


    --It's going to your corporations.


    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:31:52 PM PST

  •  Keep in mind that this is Kansas (2+ / 0-)

    and anyone kept out of the school system is probably done a huge favor!

  •  and, in turn, will Rep. Rothlisberg (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Friend of the court

    show us his proof of citizenship?

    That's an awfully funny-sounding name, Rothlisberg. Foreign, like. Matter of fact, I want to see Ted Cruz's proof of citizenship.

    They really are fighting a rear-guard action, aren't they, clutching at straws.

    Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:39:17 PM PST

  •  It's called illegal, not undocumented. (0+ / 0-)

    They're not undocumented because they have documents from their home country. The correct term is illegal or unauthorized (just like the correct term is fetus and not unborn baby).

    BTW I think the law in question is ridiculous, I'm just pointing out the terminology.

  •  A little kid being treated like that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    pushes the boundary of humanity. When you see  elected representative capable of this level of psychopathic cruelty it means we have some serious social issues.

    That was a mouthful.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:44:33 PM PST

  •  It won't make them feel alienated? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Friend of the court

    It's important that the kids don't feel discriminated against. Just that they are discriminated against.

  •  A mother's pride and joy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wonder if state representative Rothlisberg's mother has changed her name so no one knows she is responsible for her son's warped view of the world.

  •  speaking as a bastard (0+ / 0-)

    but certainly not speaking for all bastards, i don't believe bastardity is the culprit here.

  •  Dear god, please make it stop. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Earth will survive. Humanity? Earth doesn't really care. Don't take it personally.

    by dpwks on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:16:03 PM PST

  •  What I can't understand is how Kansas has gone (0+ / 0-)

    this long without having their very own tag on Fark.

    Religion: America's Largest Protected Class.

    by here4tehbeer on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:22:36 PM PST

  •  Hmmm, so is Kansas just "keeping up" with (0+ / 0-)

    Arizona and Utah? Folks it is a race for which state wins the title "Wackiest State in the USA.

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth." Buddha

    by Grandson named me Papa on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:41:06 PM PST

  •  Alabama (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't Alabama try the same thing and were smacked down?

  •  Because he was tired... (0+ / 0-)

    ...of Arizona and Georgia legislature's stealing all of the attention.

    "If you want me to treat your ideas with respect, get better ideas." John Scalzi

    by SoCalJayhawk on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:50:58 PM PST

  •  Pyler v. Doe (0+ / 0-)

    This is settled law.  In 1982 the Supreme Court stuck down a Texas law that would have required tuition payments for undocumented children. The effects of the ruling is that all children residing in the US are entitled to a free public education regardless of their citizenship or legal status.

  •  In my state, everyone has to show a BC (0+ / 0-)

    You have to provide a copy of your Birth Certificate to the school or they won't enroll you. (along with proof of address letting you attend the schools in your cluster)

    Your SSN card (or i-9 form) is also required, along with proof of shots and a health screening.  Failing to provide this can get your kid kicked out.

    This is applied to everyone.

    We are right on the state boarder, and the worry is kids from Indiana will come over and go to our school with out paying property taxes to fund the schools.

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:11:08 PM PST

  •  Here's another "Hate Immigrants" Bill Rothlisberg (0+ / 0-)

    January 29, 2014

    From Kansas News report

    Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, a Republican from Grandview Plaza, introduced a bill on Tuesday that he said would help determine how much taxpayer money is spent to educate children who are not lawfully living in the country.
    The article quotes Rothhlisberg
    “I would prefer we spend tax dollars on citizens and not on illegal aliens,” he said.
    I guess this dipsh't has not read the 1982 Supreme Court ruling
    all students are entitled to a public education regardless of their citizenship status or that of their parents.
    So he introduced a bill to calculate how much Kansas is spending to educate children who are "illegal aliens"
  •  Rothlisberg: women over 50 do not need Gynecologis (0+ / 0-)

    This Rep Rothlisberg is one more uneducated Tea Partier

    Here's what Rothlisberg said on January 14, 2014

    ROTHLISBERG: If I were a woman over 50 years old I would not need a Gynecologist
    Seriously, who the hell elects these uneducated freaks?
  •  Too busy talking to hear what they sound like (0+ / 0-)

    to ordinary, decent human beings.

    And just what is going to this blowhard's children and grandchildren? I'm sure he's trying to impart an education of a kind. Rogers and Hammerstein nailed the man's philosophy of education over sixty years ago in South Pacific: "You've got to be taught, before it's too late..."

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