Our public schools already shoulder a great deal of responsibility. They are expected not only to teach our children reading, writing and arithmetic, but also, in many cases, to help make sure that they are adequately fed and nourished, to help them cope with disabilities, to instill in them core values of good citizenship, and to help those who come from afar integrate into our community. But should our schools also have the responsibility to serve as arms of the immigration enforcement authorities?
That, in practice, is what a bill introduced this legislative session by Representative Randy Terrill would force our schools to become. HB 3384, under the guise of collecting data on the population of students who are not lawfully present in the United States, would require the presentation by parents “for inspection to a designated school official at the school in which the child is enrolled of official documentation establishing the citizenship or immigration status of the child.” Each school district would be required to make a determination of the student’s legal status and then compile and report this information to the State Department of Education.
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