The largest school district in Texas hopes to get the law changed so it can hire illegal aliens as bilingual teachers.
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa of the Dallas Independent School District says he hopes to work with other urban school systems to pursue changes that would allow hiring illegals to help fill a significant need for teachers who speak Spanish.
According to an Associated Press report, Hinojosa told board members in a policy meeting yesterday: “We are going to follow the law, but if there is the possibility to modify the law, we should.”
The idea was first proposed by school board member Joe May, who says the district should be able to hire illegals who have college degrees and are already in the United States. The aliens would go through an emergency teaching certification program.
“I can’t believe the law is so rigid and inflexible not to take into account the needs of our children,” Rudy Rodriguez, an education professor at the University of North Texas, told the board. “It is a big issue, a hot issue, and this is probably the only district in this country willing to address it.”
Though many businesses and private parties do not abide by it, federal law prohibits the hiring of illegal aliens.
Hinojosa says about half of the district’s 161,000 students are limited in English, and the district figures it needs another 700 bilingual teachers. District officials have been recruiting teachers in Chile and Mexico, helping prospective hires obtain the necessary visas.
Maria Elena Garcia-Upson, regional communications manager for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, emphasized to the Dallas Morning News that trying to get work visas for illegal aliens is forbidden.
“While we empathize and sympathize with these individuals, there is an orderly fashion in which one can immigrate to this country,” she told the paper.
John Keeley, director of communications for the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Morning News May’s proposal sends the wrong message to students.
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