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AFT Resolutions

RESOLUTION IN CONDEMNATION OF ALABAMA'S BEASON-HAMMON ALABAMA TAXPAYER AND CITIZEN PROTECTION ACT

WHEREAS, the state of Alabama has enacted a draconian law that will require the state Department of Education to check the immigration status of students in the public schools, making children pawns of a political agenda, and making school staff and communities de facto immigration officers; and

WHEREAS, it is a fundamental tenet in this country that access to a public education is a necessary component of a vibrant democracy and a strong economy; and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court, in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), ruled that it would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution for a state to deny a free public education to undocumented immigrant children, and this decision remains the law of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Alabama law is already having a chilling effect, leading concerned parents to keep their children from school, undercutting the development of future contributing citizens and causing civic turmoil; and

WHEREAS, schools should provide a safe haven for children and their families, and teachers and other school workers should be the safety net that children trust and need; and

WHEREAS, this law rejects established forms of voter identification that are accepted in other states by refusing to accept a valid registration from another state as appropriate documentation for voter registration in Alabama; and

WHEREAS, in this time of economic uncertainty, this law seeks to prohibit unemployed persons from filling jobs that contribute to the stability of communities through employment taxes, sales taxes and support of community economies:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers condemns this law as standing in direct opposition to fundamental values we hold dear as a people, and for making children pawns in a game of political one-upmanship; and

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers, based on its long and proud tradition of support for civil and human rights, will work to repeal, recall and otherwise declare unconstitutional the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act.


(2011)