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Latino Daily News

Tuesday May 10, 2011

Alabama Bill Would Keep Undocumented Immigrant Students Out of Their Proms

Alabama Bill Would Keep Undocumented Immigrant Students Out of Their Proms

Photo: If passed, a new bill would not not allow undocumented students attend prom.

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, which gives law enforcement more authority to check people’s immigration status, requires voters to show proof of citizenship to vote, and prohibits “participation in any extracurricular activity outside of the basic course of study” for those in kindergarten to seniors in high school, could be used to claim that undocumented students may not attend prom.

The U.S. Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch, Antonio Ginatta, said, “It’s pretty clearly trying to intimidate parents of undocumented children to [send their kids] to school. Consider practically, how can you figure out who qualifies for 4-H and who doesn’t? Who qualifies for chess club and who doesn’t? The only way to figure that out is to ask for immigration certification. And the Alabama Senate could have just said that, but I don’t think the Supreme Court would have allowed it.”

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Scott Beason calls it a “jobs bill” and has been quoted as saying, “Liberals are always going to want to create their utopia—if they just have a little bit more tax money, if they just let a few more illegal immigrants in—they would just create this wonderful melting pot and it would all be beautiful and we’d run through the field of flowers. Well that’s not going to happen.”

The bill is currently awaiting a vote in the House, and if passed, it will move to the desk of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for final approval.