June 26, 2009
PHOENIX – Saying they want to know how much it costs Arizona taxpayers to educate illegal immigrants, a Senate panel voted Wednesday to require public schools to ask parents to provide documents showing their children are in this country legally.
[efoods]The 4-2 vote by the Senate Committee on Education Accountability and Reform came even after an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union said it would violate federal law. Alessandra Meetze said if lawmakers SB 1172 into law, her group will sue.
“Let them sue,” responded Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who crafted the legislation.
He acknowledged a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision forbids schools from refusing to enroll students who cannot prove they are legal U.S. residents. But he said nothing in that ruling prohibits schools from asking as long as no student is turned away for failing to provide the documentation sought.