Education and Immigration

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The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Alabama’s immigration law requiring public schools to check the citizenship status of new students was unconstitutional. The Court maintained that the provision singles out children who are in the country illegally, and keeps undocumented children from enrolling and attending school.

School officials reported that the parents of undocumented children did in fact stop sending their children to class once the law was enacted, and some even moved from the state.

Alabama is among many other states that have recently passed anti-illegal immigration laws. Ultimately, the court only struck down part of Alabama’s immigration law, and upheld parts of the law allowing the police to check documents for people they stop.

Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley expresses that “The core of Alabama’s immigration law remains that if you live or work in the state, you should do so legally… It is time now to move past court battles and focus on enforcement of Alabama’s law.” Although Gov. Robert Bentley disagrees with the Court’s ruling, he maintains that the court upheld the “essence” of the law.

On the contrary, Omar Jadwat, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney explained that the judges struck down the law pretty forcefully and were opposed to the idea of self-deportation by making the lives of undocumented immigrants very difficult.

For more information check out “Ala schools can’t check student immigration status; police can ask for suspects’ papers” by Bill Barrow and Jay Reeves, The StarTribune.

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