The Double Standard on Teaching Immigration Law in Public Schools
Maryland Schools Ban Immigration Skit for Being Politically IncorrectAmidst complaints, a Prince George’s County, Maryland, teacher’s lesson plan for third and fourth graders that had a skit called The Uninvited Guest was rejected by the school district. However, this skit has true educational value and accurately teaches current U.S. immigration law in a simplified fashion appropriate for elementary school students. Apparently, some people don’t like the fact that illegal aliens are deportable under current law so they act to censor it from public schools. Meanwhile, however, no effort is underway to remove pro-amnesty curricula.The Uninvited Guest is a short skit about three invited guests, including one on a nonimmigrant visa, in Uncle Sam’s house. Those invited guests are allegorical symbols for different categories of those who are legally present in the country. However, when an uninvited guest tries to sneak in the window, Uncle Sam catches him and orders him to leave. The uninvited guest is a metaphor for an illegal alien.The skit offers a creative way to explain the meaning of Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which provides for classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission to the country. Section 212(a) is a lengthy and complicated provision of federal law that explains ways that aliens are inadmissible. Uncle Sam appropriately explains that “Outsiders who may pose a threat to the health or safety of my family aren’t welcome here. I don’t want any drug addicts or drug traffickers to come in, either. No criminals.” Section 212(a)(2) is about inadmissibility for conviction of certain crimes, like drug trafficking. There are also Sections 212(a)(6) and 212(a)(7) which provide that aliens who enter without admission or parole, and those without documentation are inadmissible.The skit also teaches children the importance of following the law. Uncle Sam tells the illegal alien, “But it’s not your country. You have to follow Uncle Sam’s Country Haven rules. You should have gotten a visa. I don’t like it when people sneak into my Country Haven.” The consequence of illegal entry is deportation (See Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act) as Uncle Sam explains: “You are going back to where you came from. For the health and safety of my people, that’s the way it’s got to be.”There are many different types of visas and complicated application procedures involved. To cut through the complexity, this skit offers a simple introduction. Uncle Sam explains that “A visa lets in people who don’t live here. People who want to come for a visit need to get my approval. If I like them and I have the space, I welcome them in. I tell them how long they can stay, and if they want to stay longer, I’ll think it over.” This definition is in accord with the description on the State Department website.While the leader of the pro-amnesty group Casa de Maryland denounced the skit as “horrible” and “horrendous,” this skit actually praises immigrants who enter legally. Uncle Sam declares, “I do appreciate guests who have a visa! Enjoy your visit!” One of the invited guests at Uncle Sam’s house says, “I got a visa, and Uncle Sam made me feel welcome!”What’s really horrible and horrendous is the fact that a Maryland teacher was stopped from using a lesson plan that fairly teaches immigration law. But intervention in teaching immigration is not limited to just one instance. In Virginia, Senator Warner coordinated a public school program advocating for amnesty. How come teachers can teach amnesty (not currently the law), but can’t instruct students on what a deportation is (which is current law)? If amnesty advocates can’t convince adults on the force of their arguments, is the next step trying to indoctrinate the next generation by influencing the curriculum in public schools?
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