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Latino student experiences immigration discrimination

Readers from North Carolina who are concerned about immigration issues may be interested to read about a teenager who was initially not allowed to enroll in high school recently. Officials at the school said it was not immigration discrimination that led to the decision. School officials say they welcome a diverse student body that treats everyone the same -- regardless of ethnicity. The teen and his family do not agree.

The teen claims that school officials twice denied his enrollment because Mexico was his birthplace, although he has been in the United States since he was a 1-year-old. He said he presented the required paperwork, like records showing immunizations and residency in the proper geographic location and Social Security documentation. He said school officials ignored the papers and argued he was not eligible for enrollment.

School officials say they cannot comment publicly on an issue that concerns a student. They claim that they do not look at the birthplace of incoming students when determining which of them can or cannot attend their institution. They said in a letter that the teen was not enrolled because, at 17, he was too old. As might be expected, the teen and his family felt differently.

Immigration discrimination is intolerable in any situation, whether the victim lives in North Carolina or elsewhere. In this instance, officials have reportedly changed their mind and are now prepared to welcome the teen into the student body. For other young students in similar situations, this could be seen as a victory that could possibly be repeated in their lives as well.

Source: CNN, "Alabama school won't let Latino teen enroll, rights group says", Nick Valencia, April 8, 2014

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