Hispanic students vanish from Alabama schools

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home, afraid that sending kids to school would draw attention from authorities. Several districts with large immigrant enrollments reported a sudden exodus of Hispanic children. The law requires schools to check students’ immigration status. Anxiety has become so intense that the superintendent in one of the state’s largest cities went on Spanish-language TV to try to calm widespread worries. “In the case of this law, our students do not have anything to fear,” Casey Wardynski said. He urged families to send students to class and explained that the state is only trying to compile statistics. Police, he insisted, were not getting involved in schools. Victor Palafox graduated from high school in Birmingham and has lived in the US without documentation since age 6, when his parents brought him here from Mexico. “Younger students are watching their lives taken from their hands,” said Palafox, whose family is staying put. (AP)

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