November 30, 2007

Schools Intimidate Parents in Prince William County

Washington,DC-The National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders,is responding to a request from the Latino evangelical pastors in the Prince Williams County, Virginia where members of their churches are being informed by the public school districts, that "parents will need to have a legal identification, such as a United States Passport, a VA driver's licence or a naturalization "green card" to have the right to pick-up their children at school, as of December 3, 2007.

"We clearly understand the security concerns but the Prince William's Public School District needs also to understand that there are hundreds of undocumented children that as per a Supreme Court decision that have the right to go to school and who have undocumented parents who do not hold a Virginia driver's license or a United States passport. Such a measure results in confusion and distress to these undocumented families", says the Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC.

The Prince Williams School Districts, are already prepared to enforce this new security measure, which comes as a result of an anti-undocumented ordinance approved by the County Supervisors previously. Latino evangelical pastors affiliated with CONLAMIC have been attending meetings in which Prince William School District leaders have invited Homeland Security representatives, County Police Officers and Attorneys for the County, to explain this new measure to Latino parents that are concerned about their children education. Nevertheless, people are being intimidated due to their legal status in United States.

"This is a disguised agenda to target the undocumented Latino parents and intimidate them to a point that they will voluntarily leave the County and the Prince Williams School District is seeking an alternative to circumvent a United States Supreme Court decision, " added Rev. Rivera.

Latino evangelical pastors will be present on Monday at Prince Williams County schools to monitor the outcome of this measure and to provide assistance to those Latino parents that are trying to motivate their children to stay in school, but are also disappointed, due to the continued anti-immigrant tones and rhetoric that are a result of such type of animosity due to the polarizing factor of such issue.

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