The governor is showing us that the cruelty in his heart knows no depths. We’ve never before seen such division and callousness in Texas politics.

Just a few years ago, we were proud to stand with Gov. Rick Perry as our state passed the Texas Dream Act showing Texas had both compassion for children and the smarts to understand the positive outcomes doing so would have on our economy. Today we stand against Abbott’s political posturing that would strip education away from our kids. 

Children shouldn’t be punished for the political ambitions of adults. Nor should they be judged for the decisions of their parents, who oftentimes are trying to provide a life for their children that’s free from violence.

If the governor succeeds, he would be disrupting thousands of Texas school campuses, thrusting them into a world where spiteful adults target children with questions about their legal status. Students would face speculation over the color of their skin or their accent, even if they are legal residents.  

The Supreme Court wisely saw the benefits of providing education for immigrant children, regardless of their legal status—kids who will be educated and productive members of society. Educating children isn’t a partisan decision. It’s a good economic one. It’s the type of decision that has given our state and our country a competitive advantage over others that we can’t afford to lose.

This November, we have an opportunity to get back to the big and bold thinking Texas is known for or continue the cruel, small-minded thinking of a governor destined to isolate our state and erode our standing as a powerhouse across the world. Texas, it’s time for change.

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was made by Zeph Capo, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers. It was made in response to news stories that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thinks Texas should not educate undocumented children.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above commentary shows Zeph Capo. (Photo credit: Chris Paul/Houston Public Media)

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