Schools Prevented from Checking Immigration Status

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

School Districts around the country received a memorandum on Friday May 6th, stating that is is illegal for them to “seek information that might reveal the immigration status of children applying for enrollment.”

Many states and local governments have considered bills requiring prospective students to show lawful status prior to enrolling, and certain school districts had been requesting prospective students to show their immigration papers prior to enrolling.

The memo relies on a 1982 Supreme Court decision that grants all children the right to attend public school, as long as they meet the age and residency requirement, regardless of their immigration status. We applaud this memo reinforcing the right of children to attend school, and not penalizing them for their parent’s failure to obtain lawful status. Our society as a whole is much better off with a more educated population.

Hopefully, Congress will realize the government’s hypocrisy and pass the DREAM Act, so that these students can continue their quest to become a productive member of society with a University education or serving our country in the armed forces.

More information about the memo is available in a recent NY Times article.