For Students in New York, Back to School Supplies Include Visa

visa-needed-for-schoolDespite a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that gave the children of illegal immigrants the right to attend public school, many districts in New York are asking for visas. One in five New York State school districts are requiring students to present immigration papers to register for school.

Although there are no records of students being turned away for the lack of proper papers, the New York Civil Liberties Union says the practice will “discourage families from enrolling in school for fear that they would be reported to federal immigration authorities” in a letter to the state commissioner. They also gathered a list of 139 districts that ask for visa information.

The advocacy group is pushing the State Education Department to end all “unintentional barriers.” The department has maintained that it is each school’s responsibility to be in compliance with state laws. “Under New York’s education law, anyone who is aggrieved by an action or decision of a district that allegedly violates the law may appeal to the commissioner for a review of that action or decision,” said Jonathan Burman, a spokesman for the department.

The state law is allowed to require documents that prove a child’s age and residence, but there is no provision for immigration status. The Civil Liberties Union mailed letters to all the schools it flagged, urging them to curtail registration requirements that “discriminate against undocumented children and are unconstitutional.”

Via The New York Times.

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6 Responses to “For Students in New York, Back to School Supplies Include Visa”

  1. ashley.t. says:

    i think all kids should have a chance for an education. Shame on New York.

  2. jason t says:

    i believe that all kids should have the rights to go to school.

  3. pcb says:

    I tutor a highly successful Hispanic kid whose family may well be illegal aliens. He’s the best thing to happen to that school; he’s won their science fair, and he works his tail off. We’re going to discourage kids like this?

  4. blanche says:

    This is a tough one, but I don’t think children should suffer.

  5. nancyb says:

    I’m sorry, but immigrant families, illegal or not, with the desire to educate their children, should NOT be discouraged from it. Consider the alternative: a swelling underground with generations of illiterates? Recipe for disaster!

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