Calif. School Targets Mexican Students Dec 31 02:39 PM US/Eastern By ELLIOT SPAGAT Associated Press CALEXICO, Calif. (AP) - Children are more likely to shield their faces than to smile when Daniel Santillan points his camera.Anyhow, you can read some of VDARE.com's work on the Supreme Court decision, (Plyler vs. Doe) that requires school districts to allow illegal students here and here. Of course, Plyler requires the schools to allow illegals from anywhere in the world—Somalia, Iraq, Beirut, Hong Kong, whereever—but only residents of Mexico are in a position to do this commuting deal.
Santillan's photos aren't for any picture album or yearbookâ€”they help prove that Mexican youngsters are illegally attending public schools in this California border community.
With too many students and too few classrooms, Calexico school officials took the unusual step of hiring someone to photograph children and document the offenders. Santillan snaps pictures at the city's downtown border crossing and shares the images with school principals, who use them as evidence to kick out those living in Mexico.
Since he started the job two years ago, the number of students in the Calexico school system has fallen 5 percent, from 9,600 to 9,100, while the city's population grew about 3 percent.
"The community asked us to do this, and we responded," school board President Enrique Alvarado said. "Once it starts to affect you personally, when your daughter gets bumped to another school, then our residents start complaining."
Every day along the 1,952-mile border, children from Mexico cross into the United States and attend public schools. No one keeps statistics on how many.
Citizenship isn't the issue for school officials; district residency is.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled illegal immigrants have a right to an education, so schools don't ask about immigration status. But citizens and illegal immigrants alike can't falsely claim residency in a school district.
Enforcement of residency requirements varies widely along the border. Some schools do little to verify where children live beyond checking leases or utility bills, while others dispatch officials to homes when suspicions are raised.
Jesus Gandara, superintendent of the Sweetwater district, with 44,000 students along San Diego's border with Mexico, said tracking children at the border goes too far. "If you do that, you're playing immigration agent," he said.[More]