The North Carolina General Assembly's House Education Committee will be voting on House Bill 744, on Tuesday, May 31st. This bill is misleadingly entitled the "Safe Students Act," but community advocates argue that it would turn school officials into quasi-immigration (ICE) agents.
The proposed bill states that, "When a child first enrolls in or transfers into the public schools of a local school administrative unit, the principal of the school to which the child is assigned shall require the parent to state whether the child is a citizen or a national of the United States, and if the child is not, the immigration status of the child".
According to the bill, the information collected "shall be used only for fiscal analysis and shall not be used to deny admission to a child who is a domiciliary of the local school administrative unit."
Please sign the petition to the NC General Assembly, urging them to stop the attack on immigrant children.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS BILL?
· This bill is mean-spirited and potentially unconstitutional. In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe that a state may not deny access to a basic public education to any child, whether that child is present in the country legally or not. While HB 744 states that the information collected will not be used to deny admission to a child, it creates an antagonistic and intimidating environment that has the possibility of excluding certain students.
· If this bill were to become law, it would place an unjust burden on School Principals by turning them into quasi-Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents by requiring them to ask parents for their child's nationality and immigration status. This would erode at trust between parents and the community and school administration.
· This bill would have a potential to be abused, even by well-meaning principals whon are simply doing their job. Unless there's also training accompanied with this bill, there's a possibility that school principals would only ask brown parents for their children's nationality and immigration status, thus racial profile parents and children.
· There is no further indication what kind of fiscal analysis the information would be used for, thus leaving room for interpreting this bill as a first step towards eventually seeking to challenge Plyler v. Doe.
WE URGE YOU TO PLEASE INCLUDE A PERSONAL COMMENT.
(Talking points provided by the Latin American Coalition)