Opposition to Proposed HB 22 - Stop Immigration Discrimination of Students K-12 in Texas
Recently proposed HB 22 authored by Rep. Riddle would mandate Texas schools to collect and report the immigration status of all students in grades K-12 upon enrollment. Additionally, HB 22 would require Texas schools to submit information related to the number of undocumented students enlisted in bilingual or special language program, in order to assess the possible impact on U.S. Students.
Most school officials would agree, that with the recent $27 million budget deficit facing Texas schools, the last thing school officials need is another unfunded mandate unrelated to educating Texas students.
Additionally, HB 22 will sever existing relationships between school boards/teachers and parents. Parents may begin to see school officials as immigration enforcers, an image that certainly carries with it a high degree of intimidation. Parent involvement in their children's schooling is a high indicator of academic success, but in the face of this intimidation, levels of trust in schools among both documented and undocumented parents is likely to fall dramatically. Furthermore, parents without proper documentation may opt out of sending their kids to school all together, out of fear that they may be punished or deported.
As Dotty Griffith, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas states, "while this bill may not explicitly deny an undocumented student a right to education, the consequence will be just that."
Perhaps the most glaring characteristic of HB 22 is the nature of the bill's unconstitutionality. A 1982 Supreme Court ruling stated that all school districts in America must educate students regardless of immigration status.
As supporters of education and human rights, we need to urge Texas State Legislators to oppose HB 22 on ethical, moral, and Constitutional grounds!