Foley Elementary students, parents afraid of Alabama's new immigration law
Alabama’s new immigration law targets school kids. No doubt that will be the headline concerning Alabama’s new “tough” immigration law:
Under the new immigration law, schools must check the citizenship status of any student who enrolls after Sept. 1. The students must present a birth certificate. Those who cannot do so have 30 days to submit documentation or an affidavit signed by a parent or guardian saying that they are here legally. If they don’t, schools would enter a notation in the statewide computer system saying that no proof of citizenship was provided.
Interim state schools Superintendent Larry Craven sent a letter to local superintendents Thursday detailing that process. But it remained unclear what might happen after the notation is made in the computer system. "We just key it in. That’s all we do. We are not the enforcers. We just put it in the system. What happens from there, I don’t know," Lawrence said.
Federal law states that schooling cannot be denied based on immigration status. Also, Alabama’s new law lists public schooling as one of a few things — including immunizations, soup kitchens and prenatal care — that are exempted from proof of citizenship.
So, federal law says that schooling cannot be denied based on immigration status? What is the point of this new law? It is supposed to determine how much money Alabama spends educating illegal immigrants. To what end? Because they are freeloading? Really?
Illegal Immigrants that own property pay their property taxes, which fund education. Illegal immigrants who rent pay their rent, which in turn funds the property taxes paid by the landlord. Illegal immigrants pay sales tax on all their purchases in the state of Alabama. Illegal immigrants working for employers who withhold taxes also pay the 2% to 4% income tax in Alabama also pay their taxes. Illegal immigrants working for cash might avoid that income withholding but not the property or sales taxes.
The Alabama legislature should have also studied how much illegal immigrants pay into their tax system at the same time they decided to scare immigrant kids and their parents.
I am delighted that Texas avoided exactly this kind of legislation this past year and more than 108 draconian immigration measures. Such measures would have been bad for Texas in the short and long runs. We need to solve our immigration problems, but targeting school kids is not the way to do it!
"I can’t imagine what I would do if I were in that situation. I’d be pulling my children close to me as well, doing whatever I needed to do," Lawrence said.
"The reality is, that’s why they’re here. They’re here for their children. They want the best for their children, and that’s the tragedy in this piece.