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New Battles Over Alabama Immigration Laws

October 31, 2011
Plain English Version

The new Alabama immigration law orders elementary and secondary schools to record the immigration status of students at the start of the school year or when they enroll. The information goes to the state.

The information does not change a United States Supreme Court ruling that all students are entitled to an education no matter what their status as immigrants.

A federal appeals court said the state could not enforce this part of the new law until the court hears an appeal. It did not rule on the merits of the case.

People who are for immigrants’ rights and those against immigrants are debating the new law.

The forces against immigrants want the Supreme Court to take up the case again. They say the court did not have enough information about the cost of educating immigrants when it made its ruling in 1982 (Plyler v. Doe). They promised to deliver the information in the future.

Pro-immigrants groups say such information does not matter. The Supreme Court said “equal protection” means you cannot deny any group of children the right to go to school.

They also say the purpose of the state law is to threaten illegal immigrants. Many parents are taking their children out of school even if the children were born in the United States.

The New York Times

 

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