How New York Schools Are Deterring Immigrants From Enrollment

At least 86 school districts in New York are requiring documents that some immigrant children do not have and discouraging enrollment as a result, a New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) survey found Thursday. Some schools are even reportedly turning kids away. An earlier review found that 139 districts were out of compliance with the law in their 2010 survey, but four years on, the majority of those schools still require information or proof of residency that could have a “chilling effect” on immigrants who are too afraid to register because of their immigration status, a move that could be in violation of federal law.

“Today’s survey demonstrates that the State Education Department (SED) has failed to enforce its own guidelines regarding immigrant student enrollment, despite being aware of the problems for years,” the NYCLU press release read in part.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that public schools cannot deny undocumented immigrants a public education on account of their legal status.

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