Flowchart will determine legal status of enrolling students

Interim Education Superintendent Larry Craven
Interim Education Superintendent Larry Craven

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Education has developed a system for public schools to determine the citizenship or legal status of students who enroll in school now that portions of the immigration bill concerning schools have gone into effect as of Thursday.

The flowchart was formed in August 2011 in response to section 28 of the immigration bill HB 56, which states:

"Every public elementary and secondary school in the state, at the time of enrollment in kindergarten or any grade in such school, shall determine whether the student enrolling in public school was born outside the jurisdiction of the United States or is the child of an alien not lawfully present in the United States and qualifies for assignment to an English as Second Language class or other remedial program."

The law does not require schools to determine the legal status of students who have been previously enrolled in public school.

Click here to see a PDF version of the Department of Education's flowchart that describes how public schools will verify the legal status of enrolling students.

Craven, says public schools will comply with Alabama's new immigration law by checking the citizenship status of new students, but he says no one will be denied admission if their parents fail to provide documentation of citizenship.

Craven described the effect of the law on public schools Thursday, which was the first day that major portions of the law took effect.

He said school systems will ask parents for a child's birth certificate upon enrollment for the first time. If they have none, they will be asked for additional documentation and to sign a statement that the child is a legal resident. Craven said all students must be enrolled whether they have documents or not.

He said those already enrolled won't be checked.

Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed.