2nd-grader asks first lady about immigration, mom - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

2nd-grader asks first lady about immigration, mom

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First lady Michelle Obama, right, talks with students, including the second-grader, far left, who told Obama during the first lady's visit to her gym class that her mother said President Obama was "taking everybody away that doesn't have papers." First lady Michelle Obama, right, talks with students, including the second-grader, far left, who told Obama during the first lady's visit to her gym class that her mother said President Obama was "taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."
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    Thursday, May 20 2010 2:23 PM EDT2010-05-20 18:23:03 GMT
    A Department of Homeland Security official says federal immigration authorities are not pursuing the family of a Maryland girl who told first lady Michelle Obama that her mother "doesn't have papers." 
    A Department of Homeland Security official says federal immigration authorities are not pursuing the family of a Maryland girl who told first lady Michelle Obama that her mother "doesn't have papers." 

SILVER SPRING, Maryland (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama faced a tough, personal immigration question from a second-grader Wednesday when she visited an elementary school with her Mexican counterpart, Margarita Zavala.

The girl told Obama that her mother said President Barack Obama was "taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."

Mrs. Obama responded: "Yeah, well, that's something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That's exactly right."

The girl then said, "But my mom doesn't have papers."

"Well," Mrs. Obama said, "we have to work on that. We have to fix that. And everybody's got to work together in Congress to make sure that that happens."

New Hampshire Estates Elementary School principal Jane Litchko wouldn't identify the student but said a parent signed a release allowing the child to participate and be filmed. Litchko said the school doesn't inquire about the immigration status of families.

"We serve every child who comes through the door," Litchko said. "We don't ask that kind of question. If they want to share with us, fine. If they don't, we don't ask."

Litchko said roughly 65 percent of her students speak a language other than English, and she employs seven English teachers to help them get up to speed.

The school recently won the Agriculture Department's Healthier US School Challenge Silver Award, which rewards schools that promote nutrition and physical activity.

The first ladies' school visit came shortly after the Obamas welcomed Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife to the White House, where immigration also was a hot topic.

Obama condemned Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration and called again for the nation to overhaul immigration. Calderon called Arizona's new law discriminatory and warned that Mexico would reject any effort to "criminalize migration."

Mrs. Obama is leading a public awareness campaign against childhood obesity and has said she wants to help solve the problem in a generation so that babies born today will come of age at a healthy weight.

The first ladies ran, jumped, skipped and even played with a parachute in a physical education class. They also sat down with students in a free lunch program and passed bowls of broccoli around the cafeteria tables.

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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