New York ends the scourge of schools asking if students are here legally

New York State has managed to solve all sorts of problems under the tenure of Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. They banned fracking so upstate residents wouldn’t be burdened with decisions about what to do with all that money. They insulted Remington Arms to the point where a couple thousand people no longer had to worry about getting up in the morning and trudging off to work. And thanks to the SAFE Act, the dynamic duo has relieved thousands more of the responsibility of having to clean and maintain their firearms. Now these busy bees have moved to cure yet another of society’s ills, ensuring that residents won’t be upset by knowing that there are illegal aliens living in the neighborhood and sending their kids to school on the taxpayer’s dime. This was apparently an easy fix, since the schools will no longer be allowed to ask about the citizenship status of new students.

Vestal Central School District is among 20 upstate school districts that have agreed to new policies for immigrant students enrolling in classes after a state investigation, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday.

The agreement with Schneiderman and the state Education Department will require the districts to remove inquiries into citizenship and immigration status from their enrollment materials and develop new procedures to ensure immigrant students aren’t facing obstacles when they or their parents seek to enroll them in school, he said…

A preliminary review found that the 20 districts had used enrollment materials that included unlawful inquiries, such asking for copies of Social Security cards, visa status and status as a U.S. citizen or non-citizen.

The state officials contended that the questions were in opposition to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1982 that found the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection for undocumented children. To deny them an education would “deny them the ability to live within the structure of our civic institutions,” the ruling said.

In order to stay out of trouble with the state government, not only will the schools be forced to remove any questions about citizenship status from their enrollment materials, but they will also have to report each and every incident of denial of enrollment directly to the state Attorney General’s office for the next three years. (You know… just to make sure they don’t slip up and identify any families who are here illegally.) That should pretty much ensure that the schools are cowed into effectively not having an admissions screening process.

This is essentially a state level initiative which is based on the model designed (and currently being implemented) in the White House. You can’t just turn around and declare that illegal aliens are citizens with full rights and privileges … yet. But what you can do is ensure that nobody asks any questions or makes things uncomfortable to the point where ICE might catch wind of it and take an interest. In fact, it’s not just a question of non-enforcement, but actually a policy of suppression of enforcement.

The downstream effects are obvious. These New York school districts have been facing one budget crisis after another, year in and year out. Cuts are being made across the board at the local level. And yet people who frequently pay no taxes (out of some residual fear of being discovered) are being encouraged to contribute to the strain by enrolling their kids and letting everyone else foot the bill. This effect is felt in many sectors beyond just education, but that’s the focus in this story.

Well done, Governor Cuomo. Another problem solved.

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