Oklahoma Targets Immigrant Students
"Stand and be counted." That was the message from Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and New York State Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez to the New York immigrant community, including those who lack legal immigration status. Senator Gillibrand encouraged undocumented immigrants to fill out the 2010 Census form explaining that the form doesn't question immigration status and that federal agencies will not have access to any information.
While New York leaders are encouraging undocumented immigrants to be counted, Oklahoma state policymakers are pushing immigrants further in the shadows. The Oklahoma state legislature is considering a proposal to require public schools to verify the immigration status of all students. If passed, the Quality of Education Assessment for Oklahoma Citizens Act of 2010 would force immigrants to hide and prevent immigrant children from going to school.
The federal government needs to act on immigration reform this year to avoid unpractical and exclusionary immigration policies like Oklahoma's Quality of Education Assessment for Oklahoma Citizens Act of 2010. The pressure on the President and Congress is intensifying, as immigration reform supporters plan to march this Sunday to demand for reform. New York is mobilizing 10,000 supporters for this weekend's action. The message is clear: "Talk is cheap;" Obama needs to deliver on his promise.