by Lisa Shin
On Oct. 13, 2017, the Los Alamos Public School Board passed an immigration resolution, under which the immigration status of students would not be recorded or reported to federal immigration officials. The resolution would be the first step in creating a policy aimed at supporting our students.I applaud efforts to welcome and not alienate, those from diverse ethnic backgrounds. When I was in grade school, there were no such efforts to protect me from the ridicule of classmates or the mockery of a teacher. No Chuck Schumer tears condemning “mean-spirited” attacks on foreigners. The only tears, to my recollection, were my own.
Yesterday, I spoke with a woman who shared the joyful news of her American citizenship. She recounted a beautiful Naturalization ceremony in Albuquerque, where those from Mexico and Taiwan, took an Oath of Allegiance. It was also a proud day for my parents, decades ago. That day brought forth a new era of opportunity, freedom, and hope. Now they had access to benefits and rewards unique to citizenship. Now, they had the right to vote; a right they have never taken for granted. Now, their children could succeed and prosper, even as ethnic minorities, through self-reliance, hard work, and perseverance.
Both Sanctuary city and Sanctuary school policies disincentivize citizenship. If immigrants can receive sanctuary protections, rights, and even a world class education, without becoming an American citizen, then why bother? If immigrants are not penalized, instead rewarded, for evading the process, then why should they follow it?A Sanctuary School policy raises serious questions. How many undocumented students are in our schools? How many will we accept, per classroom? Do undocumented students require more resources? If so, are teachers forced to shift time, care, and attention away from our own children, who are documented and here legally? Are undocumented students filling spaces that documented students in the Valley, are wait-listed for?
For the Immigration Proclamation, the County Council heard from both sides in well publicized meetings. When I questioned the lack of community debate or public comment periods, Board President Jennifer McCumber assured me that comments were welcome by e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org