Decatur Daily outlined a particular misunderstanding by the backers of the Alabama Anti-Immigration legislation.
Legislators who voted for House Bill 56 are trying to downplay the significance of a provision requiring K-12 schools to determine the citizenship of students and their parents. Their argument is that the information schools obtain cannot be used for prosecution or deportation.
They need to read the statute.
The law requires public schools to determine whether each student was born outside the United States and whether the student’s parents are illegal immigrants. It requires each school district to compile “all data” used in making the determination and submit it to the State Board of Education.
Thus, the state will receive individualized information for all students. The state must then prepare a summary report — not including individualized citizenship documents — for the Legislature.
While the law refers to the individual citizenship data as “classified,” it authorizes the state attorney general to permit public disclosure for “a use permitted by federal law.” The only restriction on the attorney general is that the use must be for a purpose outlined in two federal statutes which give broad authority for officials to obtain documents related to immigration enforcement.
Illegal immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens have every reason to be afraid. In order to give their children an education, they must risk deportation.