Statement: The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1982 that noncitizen children must get free K-12 education.
Watts, a candidate for land commissioner, made this statement in arguing that state money should go toward educating only children living in Texas legally. He is correct that the state’s legal obligation to provide public education for noncitizen children goes back to a Texas case, Plyler v. Doe, decided by the Supreme Court in 1982. The court upheld decisions by a federal judge in Texas and by the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals that the state Legislature acted unconstitutionally when it gave school districts the ability to refuse to educate children who weren’t legal U.S. residents. The courts cited the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” guarantee that laws in the U.S. be applied to all people in the same way.
Statement: “In 2010, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office found that only 6.5 percent of the U.S.-Mexico border was under full control of the Border Patrol.”
The report cited by the Texas congressman showed 6.5 percent of border miles in fiscal 2010 were under the Border Patrol’s top level of security, meaning agents and equipment were constantly present and monitoring the border — a level of enforcement usually reserved for high-traffic urban areas. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the border is a sieve. The same report said 44 percent of border miles were under what the agency considered acceptable levels of security.
Statement: Only “four countries in the world… allow abortions after 20 weeks” of pregnancy.
Texas’ first lady was expressing her support for the state’s new abortion restrictions, including an end to abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. She’s right that few countries permit abortions later than that, but the actual count is six countries, not four. And many more countries allow late abortions in certain health circumstances.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS TEXAS EDUCATION FUND
Statement: “Photo ID is not required for those who vote by mail.”
The league made this statement as it sought to spread the word about Texas’ new voter identification law, which is being implemented during the upcoming elections. We found it curious that voting by mail — presumably one of the ways most ripe for election fraud — would be excepted under the law. It is — for the most part. You can request a mail ballot if you will be out of your home county on Election Day and during the early-voting period or you are sick or disabled or will be 65 or older on Election Day or confined in jail though still eligible to vote. No ID is required for those ballots — except in the rare instance of first-time voters who had registered to vote without providing either a photo ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security numbers; those folks will be asked by county officials to send a copy of their ID after requesting a mail ballot.