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Archive for Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bill would require Kansas to count and report undocumented public school students

January 28, 2014

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House Bill 2521 ( .PDF )

— A legislator has filed a bill that would require the state to count and report how many undocumented children are in Kansas public schools.

State Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza, said Tuesday that House Bill 2521 was aimed at raising awareness about the amount of taxpayer money spent on educating children who are here illegally.

“I would prefer we spend tax dollars on citizens and not on illegal aliens,” he said.

Under the bill, whenever a child enrolls for the first time in a public school, the school board shall request “presentation of proof of lawful presence.” This could be a birth certificate or Social Security card or other document.

The State Department of Education would then publish on its website the number of children who failed to provide the proof, and the average per pupil school finance cost.

Rothlisberg said the bill wouldn’t deny a child who fails to provide proof of lawful presence from enrolling in school.

And the information would have to be published in a way that doesn’t identify a specific child, he said.

Sunflower Community Action, which works on immigration and education issues, criticized the bill.

“This is no more than another attempt at intimidation and harassment,” said Sulma Arias, executive director of Sunflower Community Action.

“This time, these acts of cowardice are directed at our children,” she said. “In a state like ours, which is proud of our immigrant history, we should keep in mind the outstanding contributions that immigrant students who have attended Kansas public schools have made and continue to make to our state.”

In 2011, Alabama enacted a measure requiring school administrators to determine the immigration status of all newly enrolling students and to submit an annual report to the state Board of Education, but a federal appeals court blocked that measure.

A 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision grants the children of people who are here illegally a free public education.

Comments

William Weissbeck 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Solve the problem. Make them citizens. Educate them. Then there's a better chance they will find productive employment here, or return to their home countries to better the lives of the people there.

Bob Smith 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Keep track of them for eventual deportation along with their illegal alien parents. Leave us not reward people for breaking laws.

Scott Burkhart 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't have the answer on the immigration issue but I would like to pose a scenario and just see what the reactions might be.

Let's suppose I decide that I don't wish to continue paying income tax or report income any longer. I decide to come up with a "shadow" life that consists of a social security number that is not my own in order to obtain social services that include a SNAP card, medical services, and possibly housing. This goes on for years to the tune of tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. I work jobs or do chores that pay only in cash or in the case where a check is given, I don't report the income. One day, I'm discovered by the IRS and the Social Security administration. Should I go to jail? Should I stand trial for tax evasion and defrauding the taxpayers of the community where I have set up my "shadow" life? Or, should it all be forgiven because I was just trying to make a living? I was just trying to take care of my family the best way I could? We look at the influx of illegal immigrants into our country as a humanitarian issue only. What we refuse to acknowledge is that at the moment they cross into our country without going through the proper process, they have committed a federal crime. Then when they embed themselves in our society and set up these shadow lives, begin families and become a part of the welfare system, in a lot of cases, we defend this behavior by saying, "We're proud of our immigrant history. They didn't mean any harm. We should just forgive everything they've done and give them citizenship." This is where I have a hard time reconciling the issue. We have laws on the books that are to be enforced. I am talking about all of the laws. Our society is set up on an implied social contract. Where valid federal law and local laws are in conflict, federal laws take precedent. The laws apply to all, citizens and non citizens alike. Again, I don't have the answers to our immigration woes.

Beator 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The government documents kids by race. They document kids neighborhood residency. Why not document the undocumented?

When my money is involved, I want as much documentation as possible.

thanks

Victoria Seibrandt 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Education will go a long way to ending the ills of this world. I wonder why we would deny it to anyone?

Joshua Cain 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Because Victoria it's against the law. Period. I can't pick and choose which laws I want to follow. It really is that simple. Can you imagine an immigrant from Eastern Europe that goes through the whole process and acquires citizenship legally, being ok with allowing illegal aliens in with the flick of a pen? If I were a legal immigrant I would be so ticked off. How is that fair?

Now, the solution is.....reform immigration, make it easier to become a citizen and get in line. There is no justification for preferential treatment and the Democratic party knows that if you promise amnesty they get the votes of the legal Latin community. Just ask them, they'll tell you.

Again how can you show preference to a certain group? What the illegal immigrants have become is a huge special interest party that will tip the balance of power solely to one party when/if they get expedited citizenship.

Aren't the Democrats all about equality? I'm not a Republican but they're right on this one. It's a matter of law and equal application of the law so as to not discriminate.

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