Alabama has started implementing a new immigration law and critics are saying it is causing a problem in schools. The new law requires that all schools verify the immigration status of children enrolling for the first time, whether they are legal or not. Monday was the first day the law went into effect and over 2,000 latino students were absent from school. Education officials say this was an 80% increase from the previous Monday.
Critics of the law say that parents are afraid to send their kids to school for fear of deportation. School officials said that students are asked about their citizenship status, it is only for statistical data. They say it is important to know how much money is spent on educating undocumented students.
Interim state superintendent Larry Craven said, “We would like all parents and students to know, regardless of whether the enrolling student has an original or certified copy of their birth certificate, the student will be enrolled and receive full participation in all of the academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs that will be offered by the local school system.” Critics also say that the new law targets children and it’s disturbing because it is harsh. Some say it is forcing teachers to be snitches.
However, it is the law and laws need to be enforced. In a time when money for education is being spread thin, how much money is spent on educating illegals is a valid concern. An Alabama congressman stated that the absences are a result of the law being upheld. People who come into this country legally have nothing to fear.
What do you think? Should schools be able to ask for a student’s citizenship status? Do you think this new law is wrong?