ONTD Political

Proposal would require Missouri schools to verify students' immigration status

10:30 pm - 01/15/2012
Missouri could be the next battleground in a nationwide fight over tougher immigration laws.

State Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican, is sponsoring a bill that would mandate that all public schools verify the immigration status of enrollees. It also would require law enforcement officers to check immigration status on all stops when they have reasonable cause, and create a state misdemeanor for not carrying proper citizenship documentation.

The U.S. Department of Justice last year sued to block similar laws after they were passed in Alabama and Arizona. Federal judges have blocked implementation of parts of the laws in both states, with the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear arguments on Arizona’s law sometime this year.

Vanessa Crawford, executive director of Missouri Immigration and Refugee Advocates, said Kraus’ bill unfairly focuses on immigrants and their families and opens the state up to future litigation.

“This bill is a really bad idea,” Crawford said. “This would force police and school officials to act as immigration agents, and would result in innocent people facing harassment. And passing a law that will undoubtedly end up in court is irresponsible.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld its 1982 ruling that children have a right to attend public schools regardless of their immigration status.

But Kraus said his bill does nothing to challenge that notion. “This is simply an attempt to track noncitizens in public schools in order to get an accurate set of data,” he said.

The motivation for the bill, Kraus said, was his push last session to pass legislation forcing Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, to sue the federal government to recoup the cost of enforcing federal immigration laws.

“One of the objections we encountered was that there was no known cost to the state. Based on those comments, I asked my office to reach out to state agencies to find out who actually tracked the cost of illegal immigration on Missouri taxpayers,” Kraus said. “The results were underwhelming as we found most agencies have no idea of the true cost to taxpayers.”

Kraus’ bill would require that schools turn data collected over to the state Board of Education, which would compile and submit an annual report to the General Assembly. The report would contain information regarding immigration classifications of enrolled students and numbers of participants in English as a second language programs, as well as the cost to the state of their education.

The report also would attempt to analyze the impact of educating noncitizens on the quality of education provided to students who are citizens.

Even though schools would be required to ask new students for either a birth certificate or proof they are in the country legally, they would still able to attend school even if they or their parents are in the country illegally, Kraus said.

Public disclosure of information that identifies a student would be prohibited.

Critics, however, dismissed the bill as nothing more than a step toward revoking the rights of immigrant children to an education.

“This law will instill fear in immigrant families that will result in children being pulled out of school,” Crawford said.

After the Alabama law went into effect, schools reported higher absentee rates for Hispanic students. Airick Leonard West, board president of Kansas City Public Schools, said a similar reaction can be expected in Missouri.

“At a time when our district needs to gain the trust and cooperation of parents to increase our average daily attendance — one of the standards of accreditation — this bill sabotages that effort by creating a hostile and intimidating relationship between our district and its families,” West said.

As for the police provisions of the bill, Kraus said officers already check immigration status after arrests. His bill simply would extend that to include all stops, he argued. And the new state misdemeanor simply mirrors federal law.

“None of these proposed items have any significant punitive provision above what is already in current federal law,” Kraus said.

So far, the bill — S.B. 590 — has not been scheduled for a hearing. Kraus said he plans to discuss it with Republican leadership in the hopes of making the legislation a priority this session. He also expected any legal challenges to similar laws around the country to be finalized before any Missouri law would go into effect.

Groups opposing the measure, however, hope to derail it before it gains traction. Crawford points to efforts her organization launched during the last session that helped kill a bill requiring driver’s license tests to be administered only in English, and eliminated versions currently offered in 11 other languages.


Local news story about the bill and the fight against it:

thepuddingcook 16th-Jan-2012 04:50 am (UTC)
Will there ever be an end to the amount of states I can visit. JFC.
thepuddingcook 16th-Jan-2012 04:50 am (UTC)
salienne 16th-Jan-2012 05:12 am (UTC)
Because children the US doesn't like totally don't deserve an education!

Could these laws be any more racist or sickening?

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld its 1982 ruling that children have a right to attend public schools regardless of their immigration status.

But Kraus said his bill does nothing to challenge that notion. “This is simply an attempt to track noncitizens in public schools in order to get an accurate set of data,” he said.

13chapters 16th-Jan-2012 05:55 am (UTC)
This totally sounds constitutional.
kaowolfie 16th-Jan-2012 06:03 am (UTC)
I fucking hate this state. Of course dipshit doesn't think this is racist or nothing. Just like it's not racist when people think nothing of ranting about "those damn Mexicans" wherever I go in the state capitol. I hate this fucking state!

Edited at 2012-01-16 06:04 am (UTC)
saoru 16th-Jan-2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
as a fellow Missourian, +1.
kaowolfie 16th-Jan-2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
I am seriously praying my father-in-law (who loves to rant about illegal immigrants, never mind how often his Cherokee ass and his children get mistaken for Latin@s) does not bring this up next time I see him. I might have to punch him if he does.
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2012 08:28 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear. Why does our state have to keep failing so hard?
emeraldus 16th-Jan-2012 06:19 am (UTC)
What gets me is they keep trying to insist it's not racist. Especially the traffic stops. If a police officer is specifically stopping someone to check on their legal status, then how is that officer determining who to stop? By the color of their skin. I doubt very much they stop many white skinned people on the off chance one might be a European here on an expired visa.
farchivist 17th-Jan-2012 12:03 am (UTC)
Pretty much this. Alabama did stop a European once. Rumor currently is that Mercedes is thinking of just closing up shop and moving its factory elsewhere. The unintended consequences of their immigration law has Alabama a bit worried.
lonely_hour 16th-Jan-2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
ya, education is never a good meant for all people.$$$$
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2012 08:28 pm (UTC)
These people do pay taxes. Get a grip.
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
If you think that all school funding comes from a 'school tax', you are confused. Missouri schools get funding from property taxes, state and federal money, and the Lottery, among other things. If you think that every 'legal' Missouri resident pays every tax, you are wrong.

Undocumented people pay a tax on every piece of clothes they buy, every gallon of gas, every bite of food. They pay taxes on gas/electric/cable if they have them, they pay taxes on the cigarettes they smoke and the beer they drink.

Some even pay federal income tax - there's a form - and contribute to SS. Exactly what is it they're doing that disqualifies them from their constitutional right to not educate their children?
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, no.

What 'tax process', exactly, are you talking bout that citizens go through that undocumented workers don't? I know a *lot* of citizens who don't pay federal income tax, because they don't make enough, and a lot of citizens who don't own a car or own a home, so they don't pay property tax.

Can you explain to me exactly what the difference is when a citizen pays no property or federal income tax, but is still 'more entitled' to educate their children than an undocumented worker is? The right of those children *is* in the constitution, and does not rely on their immigration status *or* what taxes their family pays.
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2012 11:32 pm (UTC)
Surprise, some undocumented workers DO FILE TAXES, google it, jayzus fuck.

And if you 'file taxes' but still *pay nothing* - who cares? What difference does it make? My SO and i went to file our taxes in the nineties and the tax guy told us we were making so little, we didn't even need to file. We said 'are you sure we don't need to file a paper that says we're not filing?' and he said 'no, you make less than this, you don't need to'.

Basically you're saying 'filing taxes' is the only thing that makes me a citizen and allows me the right to send my kids to public school, but if we'd had a kid at that time, we should have kept them at home??
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
And some undocumented workers PAY THEM.

But it *still* doesn't matter, because regardless of their immigration status (meaning - non-tax-paying or not) - these children are still CONSTITUTIONALLY given the right to education.
farchivist 17th-Jan-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
And what you seem to be severely obtuse about is that the "taxes you file in April", i.e., income taxes, aren't what funds the majority of public education. Property taxes, sales taxes, local taxes - these are primarily what funds a school district and they are taxes that pretty much every person, whether a citizen or not, ends up paying.

In short, you're flat out wrong. "Illegal immigrants" do pay for the education they receive through the local and state taxes that they pay.
terribilita 17th-Jan-2012 03:02 am (UTC)
LOL, way to dodge the content of her comment.

A large number of undocumented immigrants file their yearly federal income taxes and this is not a secret so do some research before you come in here spewing your bullshit.
terribilita 17th-Jan-2012 05:18 am (UTC)
There is not one fact from you in this whole thread, so excuse me for not giving a damn about your requirement for ~proof~.

Google. Use it.
terribilita 17th-Jan-2012 03:03 am (UTC)
You rocked it out here bb.
tabaqui 17th-Jan-2012 04:25 am (UTC)
I've never been so frustrated! Thanks. :)
lonely_hour 17th-Jan-2012 05:24 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you tabaqui for taking your time to enlighten that person!
tabaqui 17th-Jan-2012 05:34 am (UTC)
I dunno if i did, or if i was 100 percent right with my facts, but dear gods.
lonely_hour 17th-Jan-2012 06:41 am (UTC)
right with you. It doesn't matter anyhow... i think this matter should not be the polemics of finance, taxes, whose-paying=who-gets-it....it's a deeply moral question isn't it, and people, like above, overlook that.
tabaqui 17th-Jan-2012 06:49 am (UTC)
Deliberately, it seems.
lonely_hour 17th-Jan-2012 07:51 am (UTC)
le sigh

i wish i had a consciousness hammer.
lonely_hour 17th-Jan-2012 05:24 am (UTC)
It's due to subjectivity, i guess.

My $$$$ sign is not some...cute expression of...whatever your mind thinks it is, which perhaps seems to a sign of saying "education should be free for all".

It was basically my inarticulate frustration at how access to education, which is a good for all people, is often conflated with choice and privilege.

tabaqui 17th-Jan-2012 05:34 am (UTC)
Dear gods, please just be quiet.
tabaqui 17th-Jan-2012 05:36 am (UTC)
You should be ashamed of your ignorance. Seriously.
lonely_hour 17th-Jan-2012 06:34 am (UTC)
Okay, i think we will have to agree to disagree.

But mind, what you say is really a terrible thing to believe. Are you perhaps just so privileged that you think this way? I hate to presume, but perhaps you should re-think these words of yours. Especially since there is disparate and growing inequality in America, you cannot possibly say education is a privilege for people in America anymore, although granted, access is much better by far than compared to, say, "Somalia". Yet, just because it is a world better, does not yet make it good, and thus neither your words true.

And really, don't you believe education should be a good for all? We create many structures in our reality. At the same time we say what is, we substantiate. It is not just hopeful, wishful or utopic thinking; it is recognition that at the same time we create the infrastructures to our reality, we too, are accorded actively with the power to change it. I am not beating against the wall of "reality" or "harsh truths" about this, because how can they be so fixed, when they are constructed by ourselves? Consciousness perhaps is the real wall in this.
tabaqui 17th-Jan-2012 06:52 am (UTC)
No, more logical to make sure the children of people who don't 'file income tax' are excluded, because what the US needs is more children who can't read, can't in later life get a job that they can survive and thrive on, and will inevitably need social safety nets 100 times more than people who have a basic education and the opportunity for more.

'I've got mine, you don't get yours' is pretty damn nasty.
lonely_hour 17th-Jan-2012 07:45 am (UTC)
I see. You are very much shaped by your back-ground; perhaps you should be more critical of it. Or try to empathize...It's not that resources are scarce, but time and money has gone elsewhere. It's like those people who say there are not enough food in the world to feed everybody, when it is just distributed extremely poorly.

If we consider such thinking a fairyland, then what a terror of a world have we made by our own hands on earth? "Stahlhartes gehause" - it is our own making! And you reduce what i say to the absurd by those quoted words.

And i ask: where are the limits of logic? Has what is logical, always worked well? What of the real? Which exists for a reason...yet that is not always logical. And what right did any human ever have to demarcating lands and saying "this is yours" and "this is mine"? What real right is there that humans can claim any land is theirs and shut you off? Papers? Words? Belief? None of them substantial, all of them conceptual, and as precarious...to believe that specific people should have access to a certain land, and others do not -to believe a piece of earth actually "belongs" to someone...that is illogical.
zhiva_the_mage 17th-Jan-2012 11:18 am (UTC)
Go and read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, pay attention to article 26, p.1.
robertsloan2 16th-Jan-2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
Oh and in addition to that, the elderly, especially elderly minorities, the disabled, the poor are now burdened with the need to get these documents even if they weren't issued at birth or they don't have the money. Misdemeanor arrest, with jail time if you can't afford a fine because you can't afford ID. Oh yeah. Brilliant bloody law. It'll step on more than Hispanics. It'll step on everyone the red states want to keep from voting in 2012. This is among other things an all-out war on the poor.

Think of the number of stops for "vagrancy" (walking home) or just not looking right, with this as a sweep law to take them in if they don't have the proper documents on them at all times. Swell the jails with old and poor people, especially anyone minority. It makes me sick.
decuvieri 16th-Jan-2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wonder how often my young (white) siblings will be asked for proof of their citizenship at the bust stop as opposed to their Latino friends.
hohaiyee 16th-Jan-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
I want to see State Sen. Will Kraus's birth certificate.s

...and what about his parent's birth certificates? Is the senator an anchor baby?

I want to see if his driver's license is up to date.

Is he even the legal owner of his car? Show us the docs!

I want to see if the height of his lawn yields to all applicable by-laws.

I want to see his marriage license.

I want to see the documents he filed to run in the elections he ran in, maybe he's not really a legit Senator!

I want to see his fund records, because our senators need to be corruption free.

Ask him:
imnotbob 16th-Jan-2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
For Republicans this is a double win, not only do they get to harass Hispanics but they create more work
(and use up more resources) for public schools.
ceilidh 16th-Jan-2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Either teachers will have to do it ( which is so wrong, students should not feel like their teachers are out to get them and teachers should not be in the position of spying on students) or an administrator will have to be hired just to do this *awaits chorus of OMG LOOK AT ALL THESE USELESS ADMINISTRATORS THEY SHOULD BE CUT*
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
And my state just keeps pressing the 'fail' button. I commented on this at Huffingtonpost and omg, the vitrol and the hate. Horrifying.

I really think that 'illegals' are the *least* of our fucking problems, here and all over the country. Jayzus.

Sent the jackass a message from the website, but gods know he won't care. I hope there is vigorous opposition to this, but sadly, too many of my fellow Missourians are ignorant and racist.

Edited at 2012-01-16 08:35 pm (UTC)
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