by Gary Farber
Who we hates, we do, because their parents are illegal immigrants.
And in Alabama, this is now happening:
FOLEY, Alabama -- 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 much of 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."
Foley Elementary has the area’s largest percentage of Hispanic students, about 20 percent of its student body.
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.
Why? Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackwell.
[...] The decision, by Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn of Federal District Court in Birmingham, makes it much more likely that the fate of the recent flurry of state laws against illegal immigration will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court. It also means that Alabama now has by far the strictest such law of any state. [...]
The judge upheld a section that requires state and local law enforcement officials to try to verify a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops or arrests, if “a reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the country illegally. And she ruled that a section that criminalized the “willful failure” of a person in the country illegally to carry federal immigration papers did not pre-empt federal law.
In both cases, she rejected the reasoning of district and appeals courts that had blocked similar portions of Arizona’s law. Legal experts expected the Justice Department to appeal. [...]
All summer, rallies for and against the law have been taking place throughout the state. Farmers and even the state agriculture commissioner have raised concerns about the law’s effect on farms, sheriffs have condemned it as too onerous for financially hurting counties and others have worried that it could seriously hinder the state’s efforts to rebuild after last April’s devastating tornadoes. [...]
How onerous are we talking?
Among the other sections Judge Blackburn upheld: one that nullifies any contracts entered into by an illegal immigrant; another that forbids any transaction between an illegal immigrant and any division of the state, a proscription that has already led to the denial of a Montgomery man’s application for water and sewage service; and, most controversially, a section that requires elementary and secondary schools to determine the immigration status of incoming students.
The civil rights groups challenged this last section on the ground that it would unlawfully deter students from enrolling in school, even if it did not explicitly allow schools to turn students away. The judge dismissed their challenge for lack of standing, though she did not rule on the argument’s merits.
I kinda thought conservatives favored private contracts, but clearly there are cases where only Big Government can save the day by nullifying all contracts with someone.
[...] The consequences for Alabamans will be serious — not just for the undocumented, but for their blameless citizen children, for those who are mistaken for unauthorized immigrants and for farmers and other business owners ensnared in the law. [...]
Judge Blackburn upheld the “papers, please” section, an echo of Arizona’s notorious attempt to require state and local law enforcement officials to check a person’s immigration status during traffic stops if they have “a reasonable suspicion” that someone is here illegally.
She upheld a section that criminalized the “willful failure” of an illegal immigrant to carry federal immigration papers. And she left untouched a section that requires elementary and secondary schools to collect data on the immigration status of incoming students and their parents, a clearly unlawful attempt to frighten families into keeping their children out of school.
You can't deny the law is having a huge effect already:
[...] Hispanic students are vanishing from public schools in the wake of a court ruling on Wednesday that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children or kept them home this week, afraid that sending them to school would draw attention from the authorities. There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials that they would leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’ immigration status.
SCOTUS will have to take Pyler v. Doe into account:
[...] One grounds for challenging Section 28 will be the 1982 Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe. After Texas schools tried to block enrollment of illegal immigrants, or charge them tuition, the high court ruled that children residing in the US, whether legally or not, have a right to a free public elementary and secondary education.
While this is going on, SCOTUS today:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether the length of immigrants’ lawful residence in the United States should be considered in determining whether their children may be deported.
But why does this hurt us all? They're just criminals, illegals, after all.
One could run through a list of these provisions, explaining. But let's start by explaining how we're helped by denying any child an education.
What happens to these kids of illegal immigrants?
Children whose parents are illegal immigrants or who lack legal status themselves face “uniformly negative” effects on their social development from early childhood until they become adults, according to a study by four researchers published Wednesday in the Harvard Educational Review.
The study concluded that more than five million children in the United States are “at risk of lower educational performance, economic stagnation, blocked mobility and ambiguous belonging” because they are growing up in immigrant families affected by illegal status.
The study is the first to pull together field research by social scientists nationwide to track the effects of a family’s illegal immigration status on children from birth until they graduate from college and start to navigate the job market. It covers immigrants from a variety of origins, including Latinos and Asians.
About 5.5 million children in this country have at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant, according to an estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center. Among them, about one million children were brought here illegally by their parents, while about 4.5 million are United States citizens because they were born here.
In all, about 9.5 million people live in “mixed status” families that include American citizen children and unauthorized immigrants, Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer at the Pew center, said on Tuesday.
“Unauthorized status casts a big shadow that really extends to citizen as well as undocumented children,” Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, a professor of education at New York University who is an author of the study, said on Tuesday. “It affects their cognitive development, engagement in school and their ability to be emerging citizens.”
The Harvard study reports that “fear and vigilance” guide the home lives of young children whose parents are illegal immigrants, making the parents significantly less likely to engage with teachers or be active in schools.
Parents’ fears of deportation led to lower levels of enrollment of their American children in public programs for which the children were legally eligible, including child care subsidies, public preschool and food stamps, the study found. [...]
Many illegal immigrant parents work long hours in low-wage jobs, sometimes more than one job. New research on very young children cited in the Harvard study showed that the undocumented parents’ difficult work conditions “contribute substantially to the lower cognitive skills of children in their families.” This was true even though the children were more likely to be in two-parent families than American children as a whole.
As teenagers, children without legal status face a hard awakening when they apply for jobs, driver’s licenses or financial aid for college and discover they are not legally qualified for any of them. Their paths diverge from siblings who are American citizens by birthright.
“In late adolescence, they start to realize their legal limitations, and their worlds turn completely upside down,” said Roberto G. Gonzales, a sociologist at the University of Chicago whose research on college-age illegal immigrants is cited in the Harvard study.
Academic achievement does little to lift the prospects of illegal immigrants who have grown up here. Out of 150 immigrants Professor Gonzales studied in depth, 31 had completed college or advanced degrees, but none were in a career that matched their educational training. Many were working low-wage jobs like their parents.
The Harvard study found that many illegal immigrant youths, facing the “reduced promise of mobility,” had dropped out of school and begun the search for work they could do without legal papers, “forced deeper and deeper into an underground work force.”
The researchers said that a generation of young illegal immigrants raised in this country was moving toward “perpetual outsider-hood.”
But, hey, not my problem. Their parents shouldn't have come here, in search of jobs.
They're completely different from your or my American immigrant forebears.
Who should we deport? The Obama Administration is doing it:
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced on Wednesday that it had arrested 2,901 immigrants who have criminal records, highlighting the Obama administration’s policy of focusing on such people while putting less emphasis on deporting illegal immigrants who pose no demonstrated threat to public safety.
Officials from the agency portrayed the seven-day sweep, called Operation Cross Check, as the largest enforcement and removal operation in its history. It involved arrests in all 50 states of criminal offenders of 115 nationalities, including people convicted of manslaughter, armed robbery, aggravated assault and sex crimes.
That's legitimate. But only if done carefully.
The rest? We'll all pay the price, one way or another.
Cross-posted at Amygdala.
UPDATE, October 5th, 7:50 p.m.: After Ruling, Hispanics Flee an Alabama Town.
Mission accomplished. Hate FTW!