Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)


Tex. Educ. Code Ann. Section 21.031: A Texas statute that withholds state funds from local school districts for the education of any non-U.S. citizen children who were not legally admitted into United States and authorizes school boards to deny enrollment to such children.


Constitutional Provision(s) Invoked:

14th Amendment


Constitutional Clause(S) Invoked:
Equal Protection Clause


We fled towns

with intimidation

for currency and

bullets as reward,

just to dehydrate,


or be conned by


In a cruel desert.

The children dream

of Disneyland.

But will never

see it.

Maybe when they

grow up, get a degree,

get a good job and

make $$$.

the “American Dream.”

As we climb,

we anticipate

the struggle

the hunger

the exhaustion

the better opportunities.

A future to make it

past the 5th grade,

like you never could.

It took a

5-4 majority decision

to convince you

that we are

“In any ordinary

sense of the term”


Whether undocumented.

Or illegal.


But a court does not

guarantee protection

from discrimination.

How could it?

When it did not want to

in the first place.


The majority observed

that denying the immigrant

children in question

a proper education

would likely contribute to:



“The creation and perpetuation of a subclass of illiterates within our boundaries, surely adding to the problems and costs of unemployment, welfare, and crime.”[1]

[1] Plyer V. Doe: