Alabama Public Schools Can't Check Immigration Status of Students, Court Rules

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A part of Alabama's immigration law that ordered public schools to check the citizenship status of new students was ruled unconstitutional Monday by a federal court, but the controversial "show me your papers" provision was upheld.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Alabama schools provision wrongly singles out children who are in the country illegally. Alabama was the only state that passed such a requirement and the 11th Circuit previously had blocked that part of the law from being enforced.

The court also upheld the "show me your papers" provision in Alabama and Georgia immigration laws that allows police officers to ask someone they stop for another reason -- and who they suspect may be in the country illegally -- for their immigration documents.

As for Alabama, judges said fear of the law "significantly deters undocumented children from enrolling in and attending school ...." Last fall, educators in Alabama reported countless number of students withdrawing from schools as a result of the law.

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