The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 18, 2014

Fort Payne school system admits immigrant student

— The Fort Payne school system has enrolled an immigrant student who was initially denied admission.

The Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center says Fort Payne schools allowed the Mexican-born 17-year-old to begin attending classes after he was turned away twice from Fort Payne High School.

The law center says the system also has changed policies to make it clear that students can enroll without a Social Security number.

And it says the district has removed information from a website about Alabama's law cracking down on illegal immigration. Major parts of the law were overturned by courts.

The school system has said it doesn't use national origin in enrollment decisions.

The youth's family moved to Alabama from Colorado in January. The law center says he finally enrolled in school on April 10.

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