Alabama issued a statement yesterday imploring parents to send their children to school even if they don’t have a birth certificate, after thousands of Hispanic students failed to show up for classes this week. Alabama’s strict new immigration law requires all enrolling students to present a birth certificate, but state education superintendent Larry Craven stressed that students will be enrolled even if they can’t produce one, Politico reports.
Craven said he wanted to “alleviate any confusion” about the new law, in a statement issued online in both English and Spanish. He said that the documents would “not be used to individually identify your child,” but merely for statistical purposes—and that those enrolled before Sept. 29 needn’t worry about them at all. Federal law prohibits keeping kids out of school based on immigration status. (Read more Alabama illegal immigration stories.)