José Rico (919) 802-0508
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cowards in the General Assembly Propose Bill Attacking Children
NC DREAM Team vows to stop the attacks on undocumented youth
RALEIGH, NC—Although not a single “restrictionist” bill in the General Assembly has addressed the biggest employers of undocumented immigrants in the state—state farms—several bills have attacked school children and college students. By proposing HB 744, a bill that would force students to reveal their status to school officials, North Carolina legislators are telling undocumented immigrants working and living in our state that they are good enough to pick its residents’ food, but not good enough to sit next to them in class.
“Our communities are under attack,” said Viridiana Martinez, an undocumented immigrant who has been an active fighter for immigrant rights. “We will expose this nasty bill and everyone behind it.”
Anti-immigrant groups frequently lament the 1982 Supreme Court decision of Plyler V. Doe, which protects the right of undocumented students to attend public education through high school. However, legislators in the segregationist South have begun to find new ways to direct their prejudice at school children. The Alabama State Senate passed a bill that would ban undocumented immigrants from attending extracurricular activities like prom and afterschool sports. NC Republicans also refused to make an exception in the Matricula Consular bill, HB 33, for educators to accept the Matricula to identify the parents of children at the school, both citizen and non-citizen.
Earlier this month, US Department of Education had to remind school districts of their obligation to provide an equal education to undocumented immigrant children. The DOE released a letter (co-signed by the Department of Justice) stating that “Recently, we have become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, or students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status. These practices contravene Federal law.”
Requiring children to register their immigration status with their schools will inevitably result in discrimination, harassment or exclusion. Plain and simple, the legislators who support these bills are unprincipled cowards.