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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Immigrant Students' Rights to Attend Public Schools Print E-mail

The National Coalition of Advocates for Students (NCAS) has launched its annual School Opening Alert campaign to reaffirm the legal rights of all children who reside in the United States to attend public schools, regardless of immigration status. The fliers provide information for immigrant parents about the rights of their children to attend local public schools this fall. IDRA is working with NCAS to make this alert available. NCAS can also provide a camera-ready copy of the alert in English and Spanish to be reproduced and distributed by schools and community groups. The copy of the alert below and on the following page may be reproduced and used as well.

School Opening Alert

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plyler vs. Doe [457 U.S. 202 (1982)] that undocumented children and young adults have the same right to attend public primary and secondary schools as do U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Like other children, undocumented students are required under state laws to attend school until they reach a legally mandated age.

As a result of the Plyler ruling, public schools may not:

  • deny admission to a student during initial enrollment or at any other time on the basis of undocumented status;
  • treat a student differently to determine residency;
  • engage in any practices to “chill” the right of access to school;
  • require students or parents to disclose or document their immigration status;
  • make inquiries of students or parents that may expose their undocumented status; or
  • require social security numbers from all students, as this may expose undocumented status.

Students without social security numbers should be assigned a number generated by the school. Adults without social security numbers who are applying for a free lunch and/or breakfast program for a student need only state on the application that they do not have a social security number.

Recent changes in the F-1 (student) Visa Program do not change the Plyler rights of undocumented children. These changes apply only to students who apply for a student visa from outside the United States and are currently in the United States on an F-1 visa.

Also, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits schools from providing any outside agency – including the Immigration and Naturalization Service – with any information from a child's school file that would expose the student's undocumented status without first getting permission from the student's parents. The only exception is if an agency gets a court order (subpoena) that parents can then challenge. Schools should note that even requesting such permission from parents might act to “chill” a student's Plyler rights.

Finally, school personnel – especially building principals and those involved with student intake activities – should be aware that they have no legal obligation to enforce U.S. immigration laws.

For more information or to report incidents of school exclusion or delay, call:

NCAS

Nationwide

(800) 441-7192

(English/Spanish/
French/German)

META

Nationwide

(617) 628-2226

(English/Spanish)

META

West Coast

(415) 546-6382

(English)

NY Immigration Hotline

Nationwide

(718) 899-4000

(English/Spanish/Chinese/
French/Korean/Polish
/Urdu/Haitian Creole/
Hindi/Japanese/Russian)

MALDEF – Los Angeles

Southwest/
Southeast

(213) 629-2512

(English/Spanish)

MALDEF – San Francisco

Northwest

(415) 546-6382

(English/Spanish)

MALDEF – Chicago

Illinois

(312) 782-1422

(English/Spanish)

MALDEF – San Antonio

Southwest

(210) 224-5476

(English/Spanish)

Florida Parent Hotline

Florida

(800) 206-8956

(English/Spanish/Haitian Creole)

Please copy and distribute this flier.

This flier is available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Hmong at 1-800-441-7192

National Coalition of Advocates for Students
100 Boylston Street, Suite 737, Boston, MA 02116


Llamada Urgente al Comienzo del Curso Escolar

En 1982, El Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos dictaminó en el caso Plyler vs. Doe [457 U.S. 202] que los niños y los jóvenes indocumentados tienen el mismo derecho de asistir a las escuelas públicas primarias y secundarias que tienen sus contrapartes de nacionalidad estadounidense. Al igual que los demás niños, los estudiantes indocumentados están obligados a asistir a la escuela hasta que llegan a la edad exigida por la ley.

A raíz de la decisión Plyler, las escuelas públicas no pueden:

  • negarle la matrícula a un estudiante basándose en su situación legal y/o inmigratoria, ya sea a principios del curso o durante cualquier otro momento del año escolar;
  • tratar a un estudiante en forma desigual para verificar su situación de residencia;
  • efectuar prácticas cuyo resultado sea obstruir el derecho de acceso a los servicios escolares;
  • requerir que un estudiante o sus padres revelen o documenten su situación inmigratoria;
  • hacer interrogatorios a estudiantes o padres que pudieran revelar su situación de indocumentados;
  • exigir que un estudiante obtenga un número de seguro social como requisito de admisión a la escuela.

La escuela debe de asignar un número de identificación a los estudiantes que no tienen tarjeta de seguro social. Los adultos sin números de seguro social quienes están solicitando que a un estudiante lo admitan a un programa de almuerzo y/o desayuno gratis, sólo tienen que indicar que no tienen seguro social en el formulario.

Los últimos cambios del Programa de Visado F-1 (de estudiantes) no cambiarán las obligaciones antedichas en cuanto a los niños indocumentados. Se aplican sólo a los estudiantes que solicitan del extranjero un visado de estudiantes y que están actualmente en los Estados Unidos en un Visado F-1.

Además, el Acta Familiar de Derechos y Privacidad Escolar (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act – FERPA) le prohibe a las escuelas proveerle a cualquier agencia externa – incluyendo el Servicio de Inmigración y Naturalización (Immigration and Naturalization Service – INS) – cualquier información del archivo personal de un estudiante que pudiera revelar su estado legal sin haber obtenido permiso de los padres del estudiante. La única excepción es si una agencia obtiene una orden judicial – conocida como una citación o subpoena - que los padres pueden retar. Los oficiales escolares deben estar conscientes de que el mero hecho de pedirle tal permiso a los padres podría impedir los derechos Plyler de un estudiante.

Finalmente, el personal escolar – especialmente los directores de las escuelas y los secretarios generales – deben saber que no están bajo ninguna obligación legal de poner en vigor las leyes de inmigración de los EE.UU.

Para más información, o para denunciar incidentes de exclusión escolar o retraso en la admisión a clases, favor de llamar a:

NCAS

Nacional

(800) 441-7192

(Inglés/Español)

META

Nacional

(617) 628-2226

(Inglés/Español)

META

California

(415) 546-6382

(Inglés)

NY Línea de Urgenciade Inmigración

Nacional

(718) 899-4000

(Inglés/Español)

MALDEF

California

(213) 629-2512

(Inglés/Español)

MALDEF

Illinois

(312) 782-1422

(Inglés/Español)

MALDEF

Texas

(210) 224-5476

(Inglés/Español)

Florida Parent Hotline

Florida

(800) 206-8956

(Inglés/Español/Haitiano Crillo)

Favor de copiar y distribuir esta hoja informativa.

Esta información fue puesta al día en 8/99 y está disponible en inglés, español, haitiano criollo, portugués, vietnamita, y hmong.

National Coalition of Advocates for Students
100 Boylston Street, Suite 737, Boston, MA 02116

Comments and questions may be directed to IDRA via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

[©2000, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Every effort has been made to maintain the content in its original form. However, accompanying charts and graphs may not be provided here. To receive a copy of the original article by mail or fax, please fill out our information request and feedback form. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]

 
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