US high school campus
Students walking outside a school campus in the U.S. Marilli

Educators in Arizona are warning lawmakers about the impact that the implementation of a bill aimed at cracking down on immigration could have on Latino students, a group that is already lagging behind their peers in the state, Noticias Telemundo reported.

They have put their focus on the fact that the bill, HCR2060, allows law enforcement to detain people suspected of entering the country unlawfully even in schools, hospitals and houses of worship. Bills passed by other Republican-led states have excluded these facilities.

Jeff Zetino, director of research and policy at ALL In Education, a non-profit seeking to improve the school performance of Latinos, said that the organization has been "hearing many parents who are extremely nervous about the chance this is passed; what will happen when they drop off and pick up" their children.

Even though it's unlikely that children will be removed from schools as a result of the law, any officials could ask students or parents about their migratory status. This possibility "makes the really difficult relationship between the school and the community tenuous," he said.

He also wondered about a scenario where parents take their children to the hospital. "Will they have to worry about having and ID, will they be harassed by officials close to a health care campus?"

A Latino advocacy group has already filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the initiative from being on the ballot in November. According to a report by The Associated Press, they allege it violates a rule in the state constitution that says legislative proposals must cover a single subject.

An lawyer for the group said the proposal deals with issues that are way to broad to be covered by a single law. "It's defective — and every single person who's involved in this knows that," Jim Barton told the outlet.

In contrast, local Republican leaders claim the challenges seek to prevent residents from voting on an issue that is key for them. "Arizonans have had enough and want change," House Speaker Ben Toma, a Republican, said in a statement.

State Republicans had already tried to pass the measures as a law earlier this year, but Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs blocked the motion. In her veto, Gov. Hobbs said the measure "does not secure our border, will be harmful for communities and businesses in our state and burdensome for law enforcement."

She added that it could also potentially violate the U.S. Constitution by claiming what has been the federal government's exclusive power: to arrest and deport immigrants.

Arizona House minority whip, Rep. Nancy Gutiérrez, said the measure would turn parent-teacher conference in potential immigration enforcement stings and said that many families could avoid going to school-related events out of fear.

"Fear. This bill is hurtful and it will cost money, It will cause trauma and make our state a very fear-filled place once again ... Don't Texas my Arizona," she said before voting "no."

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