The law went into effect over the weekend, after being largely upheld by a federal district judge. Volunteers on an immigrant-rights group’s hot line said that since then they have received more than 1,000 calls from pregnant women afraid to go to the hospital, crime victims afraid to go the police, parents afraid to send their children to school.
School superintendents and principals across the state confirm that attendance of Hispanic children has dropped noticeably since the word went out that school officials are now required to check the immigration status of newly enrolled students and their parents.
That rule is part of the law’s sweeping attempt to curtail the rights and complicate the lives of people without papers, making them unable to enter contracts, find jobs, rent homes or access government services. In other words, to be isolated, unemployable, poor, defenseless and uneducated.
The education crackdown is particularly senseless and unconstitutional. In 1982, the Supreme Court found that all children living in the United States have the right to a public education, whatever their immigration status. The justices’ reasoning was shaped not by compassion but practicality: it does the country no good to perpetuate an uneducated underclass...more