A federal judge recently upheld most of Alabama's new immigration law, part of which mandates that the immigration status of students be checked by schools. Officials say the information will be shared only with the state Department of Education to assess how much is spent to teach illegal immigrants, but many Hispanic families either misunderstand the law or remain fearful. Some parents pulled children from school, and some districts reported the absence of hundreds of Hispanic students. Federal law requires that immigrant children be educated in public schools.

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