But as Second City Cop points out things get a little interesting:
"So, a citizen of Mexico without a local address? Illegal? Oh wait, we can't ask that. Never mind."
The Chicago Public Schools face the same problem (really any major public institution in this country faces this problem) -- in fact it becomes a major headache for CPS because it makes identifying and labeling students extremely difficult. Why? Because CPS can't use Social Security numbers to register students. That's the stupidest thing you've ever heard you say... why don't they? Because public education is available and accessible to all young people in this country no matter what their situation may be. Since a students Social Security number can't be used to check if they're in the system, CPS (again, all large public schools) faces problems with duplicates in the system, especially at the early school year levels (K, 1, 2, etc). This makes streamlining information and data all that more difficult -- and part of the reason why everyone thinks CPS can't get their act together. Too many people -- from coordinators to administrators to data analysis -- spend too much time tracking down data on students or making sure they do not have duplicates in their files.
No matter where you stand on the illegal immigration issue, it's little policies or regulations like this that slip though the cracks of media coverage and seem like they don't matter, but have a huge fall out. I have no clue how many hours CPS or the police department loses per year chasing down information like this but it's a lot. And that's a lot of tax dollars and creates huge inefficiencies in the all public departments. So when a bleeding heart liberal says that everyone has a right to public education -- no matter where they're from if they walk though that door, they should receive an education -- I hope they don't complain about the red tape at these public institutions. I'm sure CPS or CPD administrators could spend their time much more productively if they could, you know, ask for a Social Security number.
Next time your complaining about whatever public department or government agency, remember that part of the reason they're so slow or so bad at their jobs is because of the regulations put in place to protect everyone -- you, your friends, even the illegal immigrant.