PHOENIX (AP) — A mysterious substitute teacher is in the middle of Arizona's polarizing immigration debate after he criticized some Hispanic students in a letter that's being defended by the state Senate president and criticized by other lawmakers who question whether it was a hoax.
The letter by substitute teacher Tony Hill was read aloud Thursday as the Senate considered one of five bills on illegal immigration. In the letter to Senate President Russell Pearce, Hill said a majority of eight-grade students who he taught recently at an unnamed suburban Glendale school refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and declared that "We are Mexicans and Americans stole our land."
Democratic lawmakers questioned the veracity of the letter, called the writing offensive and questioned whether Hill was actually a substitute teacher.
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