Arizona Immigration Bill

Arizona Advocates, Educators Concerned About Immigration Bill’s Impact on Latino Students

Arizona Advocates, Educators Concerned About Immigration Bill’s Impact on Latino Students

As the 2024 election is coming up, immigration has become a top concern for politicians and voters. In Arizona, teachers are using their voices to fight for their concerns for Latino students.  Educators are raising concerns about the damage the Arizona Bill, HCR2060 would have on Hispanic students. The proposed legislation would allow state and local officials to detain individuals suspected of illegal immigration in places like schools, hospitals, and places of worship. 

“Where this will have the most impact is in communities with a high presence of Latinos and immigrants, and these are the same communities that are underperforming [academically] and those that need more attention in building and strengthening their local school system,” said Jeff Zetino, director of research and policy at ALL In Education, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve educational outcomes for Latinos. 

According to a 2020 report by UnidosUS, there are 505,584 Latino students in the Arizona school system. Educators are mainly concerned that the bill would only increase the lack of participation and attendance for students, overall damaging the educational system and putting Latino students at a disadvantage. Children of immigrants would be afraid to attend school or even go to the nurse’s office, as they can be inspected or questioned for proof that they have not entered the country illegally. 

Representative Nancy Guitizer, a Democratic member of the Arizona House of Representatives, also believes that the proposed law would create unnecessary fear for children and disrupt the educational environment for students by turning school activities into immigration inspections.  

However, GOP lawmakers claim that this bill is intended to protect the border and is “not really an immigration bill. It is about stopping people who cross the border illegally.” While addressing our country’s immigration crisis is important, many are questioning if this is the right approach to take. As this bill awaits a public vote for final approval to become a law, its potential impact on Latino students and other communities remains a critical concern for educators and advocates.  

 


Catalina de la Peña | Immigration Correspondent

Growing up in a predominately Hispanic community and being raised by Cuban immigrants, I have seen firsthand how immigration issues deeply impact individuals, families, and communities. I’ve always felt a strong connection to the stories of immigrants, and now, I have the opportunity to delve deeper into these narratives. As an Immigration Correspondent, I plan to focus on shedding light on Latin American economic and political struggles, particularly in countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, and in Puerto Rico, and how these challenges intersect with the experiences of current immigrants in the United States. To support my reports, I plan on combining real-life stories from immigrants residing in Miami, Florida, with thorough research. Working with Latina Republic allows me to combine my passion for storytelling with my commitment to social justice, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of the complexities of immigration and Latin American issues.