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Iowa Congressional Candidate: Keep Immigrant Children Out of Schools

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Watch out, Steve King.  Another anti-immigrant hardliner in Iowa is rising, and adopting anti-immigrant positions King would be proud to call his own.

Think Progress today covers a recent interview between Mickelson in the Morning, a local conservative radio program, and Brad Zaun, a current state senator running for Congress in Iowa’s District 3.  When host Jan Mickelson brought up K-12 schooling for undocumented children and claimed that it’s a waste of taxpayer money, Zaun agreed, and blamed the continuation of the practice on lawmakers who lack “courage.”  Here’s the snippet, from Think Progress:

MICKELSON: The state of Iowa spends millions and millions and millions of dollars every single year trying to educate people whose parents aren’t even here legally. About $200 million. And we have been doing this for years. And our governor says, “well that’s the law of the land. That’s Plyler. The Supreme Court says we have to.” I say that’s bullhockey. Even if that court case has some merit, and I don’t think it does, it ought to be challenged, and it should not be automatically applied here in Iowa, because we ain’t Texas! What do you think ought to be done? Is it time to challenge Plyler here in the state of Iowa?

ZAUN: Absolutely. I can tell you that we’ve had a lot of attempts to make some changes. The problem is we’ve got a Democratic-controlled Senate. It’s just been frustrating. […] There’s lack of courage to do that. I’m just being honest with you.

Oh, anti-immigrant hardliners.  It’s because of people like Zaun that the Department of Justice and the Department of Education had to recently issue new guidelines reminding schools that they are obligated to educate those enrolled in their districts.  Why?  Because keeping kids out of school, as Eric Holder said, “not only harm innocent children, they also markedly weaken our nation … by leaving young people unprepared and ill-equipped to succeed and contribute to what is, in many cases, the only home they have ever known.”

If Zaun prevails, Steve King will have a hardliner anti-immigrant buddy from Iowa.  And that is bad news for common sense, as well as the GOP’s efforts to moderate / pass immigration reform / attract Latino voters.