This is the newest version of idiocy out of the Missouri Senate. “all public elementary and secondary schools shall determine if students are born outside the United States or are the children of an unlawfully present alien at the time of enrollment by checking the original birth certificate or certified copy thereof. If it is determined that te child is born outside of the u tied states or is the child of an unlawfully present alien the United States the parents shall notify the school of the actual citizenship or immigration status of the child with documentation.
This gem was introduced by Senator Will Kraus From Eastern Jackson County. I am outraged to see that he has apparently won the “A Better Missouri for Children Award” from the Missouri PTA. Apparently he only wants a better Missouri for English speaking children with 100% legal family members, those from mixed immigration status families or who don’t speak English are out of luck. The Missouri PTA (Here is a link to their email, send them a note telling them so) should revoke this award from someone who clearly cares noting about Missouri’s children.
This legislation is financially irresponsible seeing as though all similar legislation has been blocked by a variety of circuit judges across the country, and the Arizona bill, which doesn’t even go as far as targeting children, is suppose to be heard by the Supremes this term. It is also going to devastate the Missouri economy just like it has in Alabama and Georgia.
It is also inhumane, unchristian (if you believe in that), uncharitable and down right mean. It is exactly these types of toxic, hateful megalomaniacs that make politics so rancid. People like Will Kraus, Brian Nieves, Jerry Nolte, Kris Kobach, who would propose such a bill that is meant to destroy families and communities and vilify and marginalize children deserve a special place in hell. I can hardly see how they manage to look themselves in the mirror every morning knowing they are spending their lives destroying and tearing down rather than building up and healing. They are a disgrace to public servants, to Missouri and to whatever religion they likely self righteously claim to be.
Anyone who is a teacher or a parent or knows a child should be appalled and outraged. Below is the text of the bill and if you are not in the bathroom vomiting by the end see below for additional comments on other aspects that are disgraceful, unconstitutional, inhumane and poorly written.
“SB 590 – All public elementary and secondary schools shall determine whether enrolling students are born outside of the United States or are children of an unlawfully present alien at the time of enrollment by checking students’ original birth certificates or certified copies thereof. If it is determined that a student was born outside of the United States or is the child of an unlawfully present alien, the parent or guardian shall notify the school of the actual citizenship or immigration status of the child with accompanying documentation.
The State Board of Education shall compile and submit an annual report to the General Assembly containing information regarding immigration classifications of enrolled students, numbers of participants in English as a second language programs, and the effects of education quality as a result of enrollment of unlawfully present aliens and the costs associated. Public disclosure of information which personally identifies a student shall be unlawful.
Upon any lawful stop, detention, or arrest, law enforcement shall determine the citizenship and immigration status of the person if there is reasonable suspicion that the person is an unlawfully present alien. If an alien is determined by the federal government to be unlawfully present, the law enforcement agency shall cooperate in the transfer of the alien into federal custody.
The act creates a Class C misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is unlawfully present and in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1304 or 8 U.S.C. 1306 which requires certain persons to carry alien registration documents, apply for alien registration, and be fingerprinted.
Ok now that you are done reading this heinous excuse for a law, here are some technical things that I see wrong with this.
The First Paragraph: Other than to strike fear in the hearts of parents, humiliate children and break the bonds of trust that exist between the school and the families they serve, this section serves no purpose. It does not even pro port to do anything. Just that the schools will now have to pry into the lives of the families. It doesn’t say what they are to do with this information just that they have to ask for it. The only point is to terrorize. This is designed to scare undocumented parents out of the district. It is designed to tell the children of these folks that they are less important and not worth educating. The school in a local school district is sometimes the only trusted place some people have to go. Number one, only an immigration judge can determine if someone is an “unlawfully present alien.” Period. Not the cops, not an ICE agent, Not a teacher or a principal. When someone is put into removal proceedings they are issued a “notice to Appear” that has allegations on it (it is alleged that (Insert person here) is: 1. Not a native or citizen of the United States, 2. Is a Native and Citizen of Mexico 3. Entered the country at an unknown time in an unknown place without being inspected or authorized to do so.) The hearing is meant to prove whether the allegations are true or false. Until an immigration judge has made that finding that those allegations are true a person’s status is not determined.
The Second Paragraph: The School Board now will have to report the immigration status of their students, the number of kids participating in ESL and apparently make assessments on how educating undocumented children degrades the quality of education. This paragraph is also confusing (aside from its awkward wording and grammar) because I cannot tell if Kraus is implying that having ESL kids degrades the education of other students, or if simply having an undocumented child listening to a lesson downgrades the educational experience for everyone. It is also written in a way that suggest that having these undocumented children in the class can only negatively impact the “education quality.” It assumes that these children hurt the educational experience of other children. What a great way to educate children, lets make them feel inferior (the undocumented children) or superior and resentful (the non undocumented children having their school experience “ruined”). Lets set up cliques by law. Brilliant.
The Third Paragraph: This same language has been found problematic time and again in other state immigration laws. The police must determine the immigrate status (see above as to how this is impossible) of anyone who they lawfully stop, detain or arrest when they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe the person is an “unlawfully present alien.” Despite all the righteous indignation of Kris Kobach that “reasonable suspicion” means something other than “brown and speaks with an accent” let’s not be dense. Reasonable suspicion means exactly that: brown, accent speech/non english speaking. I can assure you no one will ever have reasonable suspicion that I am an “unlawfully present alien” ever. No cop will ever ask me to prove I am here legally because I am white. (I could be Canadian, or from one of the many countries in Western Europe and be just as “unlawfully present” but I will never be asked.)
Finally, The last paragraph: It is entirely unclear what this paragraph even says. It appears to make it a class C misdemeanor for someone who is unlawfully present and in violation of 8 USC 1304 or 8 USC 1306. 1304 says you have to register and be fingerprinted and keep your address current by complying with the forms that USCIS has set up to do so, i.e. applying for either an immigrant visa or a non-immigrant visa. 1306 is the penalty section for these sections. So I really don’t think you can be in violation of a section that just proscribes penalties and I think the intent of 1304 is to make sure that people renew their visas and residents cards and always carry them. So if you are unlawfully present and don’t have your visa and/or resident card then you are guilty of a C misdemeanor? And if you are legal and don’t have this documentation and are suppose to (technically this is a crime in the federal law but according to tracker only 11 people were even charged with this in 2011 and only 2 convicted,) you are not guilty of this crime?
This mish-mash of bad grammar, poor sentence construction, ambiguous ideas and improperly used terminology is yet another reasons why state legislature should not be anywhere near immigration laws.
I beg you. Please call or email your state senator and rep and tell them this is disgraceful and will harm Missouri just like it has harmed Alabama and Georgia. Please express your outrage for these children, legal or no, born to documented or undocumented parents. Children should not be a battering ram in this fight. Shame on you Will Kraus, winner of “A Better Missouri for Children” award. You are a disgrace.