The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Alabama Department of Education, seeking access to records the organization says shows the impact of a school reporting provision in the state’s immigration law.
The SPLC is seeking data the Alabama Department of Education supplied to U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, tracing student enrollment in a two-week period between September 29, 2011 and October 14, 2011. During that time, a section of the law requiring schools to gather data on the immigration status of enrolling students was in effect.
Under the law, students were required to provide a birth certificate or a statement of their immigration status to a school district. After issuing an injunction against the section last year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last August that the provision violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The state of Alabama is seeking a review of the decision.