Solutions elude CMS on undocumented volunteers

Aug 18, 2014 by

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools team assigned to find a way undocumented immigrant parents can volunteer in schools is running short on time and even shorter on potential solutions to the hot-button issue.

The team’s final meeting is Tuesday, and it has yet to find a quick, easily affordable fix to the current policy, which requires anyone volunteering in schools to produce a Social Security number and driver’s license for a criminal background check.

Undocumented immigrants – people not in the country legally – do not have such forms of identification, making it impossible for them to volunteer in schools where their children are students.

The team has so far only identified one possible alternative to the current policy: Accepting a valid passport, along with fingerprinting.

However, CMS officials said in June that resorting to fingerprinting parents would be cost-prohibitive, not to mention incompatible with the current program.

Team member Hector Vaca, an advocate for immigrants with Action NC, is critical of the team’s “slow” progress and said he’ll show up at the Tuesday meeting with a proposal that the study group continue meeting until a solution can be found.

Otherwise, he said, “the entire effort yielded nothing.”

CMS officials said last week that they would be open to extending its study, if the group agreed to it.

“We won’t reach any type of consensus or agreement on solutions by the end of the last meeting, which means undocumented parents will continue to be excluded during the school year,” Vaca said.

via Solutions elude CMS on undocumented volunteers | CharlotteObserver.com.

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