Terrorized By New Immigration Law, More Than 2,000 Hispanic Students In Alabama Don’t Show Up For School

In the wake of last week’s watershed decision by a federal judge allowing Alabama’s harshest-in-the-nation immigration law go into effect, frightened immigrant families have begun fleeing the state and withdrawing their children from school. Around 2,285 Hispanic students failed to show up for school on Monday, which amounts to 7 percent of the entire Hispanic population of the school system. On a conference call yesterday, Wendy Cervantes, the vice president of child rights policy at First Focus, pointed out that because federal education funding is based on attendance numbers, Alabama schools lose money every day these children don’t attend. Additionally, according to the Institute for Taxation & Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants in Alabama paid $130.3 million in state & local taxes in 2010 — money that state and local governments will have to do without if the new law seeks in driving them from the state.