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As Alabama Anti-Immigrant Law Takes Effect, Elementary School Kids are “Crying and Afraid”

by Mahwish Khan on 09/30/2011 at 9:52am

Alabama immigrationOne of the most egregious sections of the Alabama’s horrific immigration law turns schools into immigration enforcement authorities. That’s already having an impact on school kids:

Many of the 223 Hispanic students at Foley Elementary came to school Thursday crying and afraid, said Principal Bill Lawrence. 

Nineteen of them withdrew, and another 39 were absent, Lawrence said, the day after a federal judge upheld Alabama’s strict new immigration law, which authorizes law enforcement to detain people suspected of not being U.S. citizens and requires schools to ask new enrollees for a copy of their birth certificate. 

Even more of the students — who are U.S. citizens by birth, but their parents may not be — were expected to leave the state over the weekend, Lawrence said. 

“It’s been a challenging day, an emotional day. My children have been in tears today. They’re afraid,” he said. “We have been in crisis-management mode, trying to help our children get over this.” 

That is just wrenching. But, this is what the sponsors of the legislation wanted to accomplish. 

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