Education Required for Immigrant Children

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Lawmakers heard yesterday that state and federal law protects the right for children of illegal immigrants to attend school while living in Arkansas.  That means the largest state costs of the migration can't be eliminated.

The news came during a joint hearing of the state House and Senate's education committee.  Afterward, two Republican lawmakers questioned the lengths the state should go when providing that care as Arkansas' Hispanic community grows at one of the fastest rates in the nation.

Rep. Rick Green questioned whether children who were illegal immigrants themselves should be considered truant and forced to attend classes.  After the hearing, the Republican from Van Buren said he wanted to make sure the state wasn't "stepping a step beyond" by forcing illegal immigrant children to attend school.

Republican Rep. Mike Kenney of Siloam Springs said he thinks even children born in the U.S. should leave the country with their deported parents if they have no one else.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)