Wednesday, February 28, 2024

GOP Candidates in Iowa Express Support of Anti-immigrant Measures at Latino Heritage Festival

The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, stated her support of ending public education access to undocumented students on Saturday at the annual Latino Heritage Festival in Des Moines.

Reynolds said that children who are undocumented immigrants should be denied access to public education.  She did not outright say she would work to repeal the 1982 U.S. Supreme court decision, Plyer v. Doe, which ruled that children of undocumented immigrants must be allowed access to public education if elected.  Her running mate, former Gov. Terry Branstad, has stated the ruling should be overturned.

“Well, I think we’ll take a look at it, move through one step at a time,” Reynolds said. “That’s where we’re going to start. We’re going to review it and possibly take a look at it.”

The message did not sit well with many of the attendees of Latino descent at the festival.

Des Moines resident Diana Pauley said she was offended by the Republican stance on immigration.  Pauley is the granddaughter of Mexicans who immigrated to California in the 1920s.

“My parents got to go to school,” Pauley said. “My parents got to do everything that everybody else got to do. My parents paid taxes; my grandparents paid taxes, everything. So, they have their rights too, and that was in the 1920s. They weren’t told to go back. They weren’t told that my parents couldn’t go to school. That was way back then. No, we can’t do that.”

About 4.2 percent of the state’s population is Latino or of Latino descent, according to the State Data Center of Iowa.  Many of them called the Republican candidates’ stance inhumane.

“I believe we are all humans,” Pedro Parada, a Des Moines resident, said. “Education, it’s a public right. It’s for everybody. If you think about Hispanics, we’re a big minority in the United States. So, if you’re going to deny education to our minority, you’re going to lack a future. I mean we’re the future. We’re the fastest growing minority group in the U.S.”

Iowa Independent


  1. Orale! Elections matter. We should be upset, but we should also act! Take the Pledge of 10 at!