OKLAHOMA CITY: In response to the Republican Platform Caucus proposal to threaten 82,000 children with deportation, the ACLU of Oklahoma issued the following statement:

The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director:  

“The Republican Platform Caucus is using cheap, tired tactics of political distraction in an attempt to create confusion about Oklahoma’s true problem—a failing Legislature. Indeed, the Oklahoma Legislature is a far greater threat to the safety and prosperity of Oklahomans than any child that may have entered this Nation from one of our borders.

This proposal might be laughable if it weren’t made at the expense of real human beings, common decency, and the United States Constitution. Threatening 82,000 children with arrest and internment that would turn their entire lives upside down is disgustingly inhumane.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled in Plyler v. Doe that all children living in this Nation are guaranteed the right to a public education. The ACLU will not stand for any attempt to strip any student of that right, nor will we allow the Legislature to insert racial profiling or discriminatory stereotypes about non English speakers into our schools.

A government that threatens to turn children over to law enforcement to avoid educating them should alarm and outrage all Oklahomans of conscious. Immigration authority has no place in our schools. Racial profiling has no place in our schools. By proposing an agenda that states otherwise, those members of the Legislature pushing this proposal have demonstrated very clearly they consider themselves the enemies of the children they were elected to represent and protect.”