Role of Schools in Immigration Returns to Battle Over HB56

Sen. Scott Beason has reignited discussion over the role of Alabama’s schools in enforcing immigration law by introducing a substitute to a bill that would amend the state’s immigration law known as HB56.

The original version of the bill to amend the immigration law, HB658, would have (among other things) deleted language that requires schools to check the immigration status of students and report it to the State Department of Education. Beason’s substitute to HB658 makes no mention of changing the provisions regarding what schools are required to do under the immigration law. Currently, that portion of the law is on hold due to a federal court ruling last fall.

The Legislature passed the substitute and sent it to the governor to sign, but Gov. Bentley is opposed to Beason’s changes and included immigration in the topics to be addressed in the special session that he called Thursday morning.

The governor wants the provision on schools fixed during the special session. “I just don’t want children to be asked about their parents’ legal status,” the governor is quoted as saying in the Associated Press story.