Hispanic Students Still Not Showing Up For School In Alabama

On Monday, a month since Alabama’s extreme immigration law went into effect, 1,807 Hispanic students did not show up for school across the state. The Alabama Department of Education told Politico that the number is about 800 more than what is considered normal for Hispanic students, following a spike in absences after the law kicked in and school districts began asking new enrollees about their citizenship. The Eleventh Circuit temporarily blocked that portion of the law later in October, but ThinkProgress speculated at the time that “the damage may already be done” and students would not return. The high rate of absences and number of people fleeing the state isn’t enough for Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who said, “Illegal aliens are continuing to leave Alabama — not as fast as we would want, not as many as we would want — but still they’re leaving and it makes us happy.” Meanwhile, the Justice Department is asking Alabama school districts for information about the absences to determine if school districts were following federal law that a student may not be denied access to education based on immigration status.