Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Discrimination against undocumented day visitors

From Calexico, California, the AP reports:
Every day along the 1,952-mile border, children from Mexico cross into the United States and attend public schools. No one keeps statistics on how many.

Citizenship isn't the issue for school officials; district residency is.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled illegal immigrants have a right to an education, so schools don't ask about immigration status. But citizens and illegal immigrants alike can't falsely claim residency in a school district.

Calexico is a small town (pop. 38,000) across the border from the large Mexican city of Mexicali (pop. 750,000). Naturally some of the Mexicali residents choose to send their children each morning across the border to schools in Calexico, inconveniencing Calexico residents such as former mayor Torres:
Fernando Torres, a former mayor, was upset when the district said his grandchildren would have to transfer because there was no room in their neighborhood school. "It's not right" for U.S. taxpayers to build classrooms for Mexican residents, he said. The district eventually relented.

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