Oct 1, 2011

Immigration Crackdown - Alabama: Targeting schoolchildren

The Washington Post Editorial: "THE CLEAR INTENT of Alabama’s viciously xenophobic immigration law — and the likely effect, now that most of it was upheld by a federal judge this week — is to hound, harass and intimidate illegal immigrants into uprooting their lives and moving elsewhere. The law aims to do this by various means, but none is more pernicious than a provision requiring the state’s public schools to collect information on every student’s immigration status, starting in kindergarten and going to 12th grade.

... In turning the schools into immigration registrars, Alabama’s new law flies in the face of good sense and settled law. The Supreme Court has specifically prohibited such registration schemes by the states aimed at immigrants, legal or illegal. And, in a ruling almost 20 years ago, it conferred on undocumented students an unfettered right to a public education through high school.

... By vilifying and victimizing schoolchildren and their families, Alabama lawmakers are mounting an end run around Supreme Court precedent in hopes of cleansing communities of what they see as the scourge of illegal immigrants. But the real legacy will be a wave of fear, bitterness and desperation in hardworking minority communities . In Alabama, the nation’s ugly fight over immigration policy just got uglier."

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