immigration issues are international

Some children in France dread end of school
Tough new laws being aimed at immigrant families back deportation when classes finish

— reported by the Houston Chronicle

Eight-year-old Andrianina Ralison’s favorite subject is math, his sport of choice is basketball, he loves library books about nature and animals. His second-grade teacher at La Faiencerie Elementary School in this southern Paris suburb describes him as one of the top achievers in her class.

Andrianina, a round-faced boy from Madagascar, is also an illegal immigrant. And under tough new immigration laws, Andrianina — along with hundreds of other schoolchildren and their parents across France — is scheduled to be deported to his native country the day after school ends July 4.

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Across much of Western Europe, countries fearful of losing their national identities and anxious over struggling economies are seeking new ways to stem explosive growth in immigrant populations. The debates in Europe echo many of those heard in the U.S. Congress.

For now, the political consensus in France is to crack down, and last fall — as part of tougher new policies — authorities began pulling immigrant children out of school to be deported with their families. But many teachers, classmates and parents rebelled. Teachers at a school in central France hid students from police, even at the risk of being fined thousands of dollars for helping illegal immigrants.

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Author: Paloma Cruz

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