MANHATTAN (CN) – Public school districts in New York have illegally barred immigrant children from attending school, the New York Civil Liberties Union said. The NYCLU said that 139 of the state’s 694 public school districts have asked for proof of a parent or child’s immigration status before enrolling them.
The NYCLU said the statistics came from a survey it took during the last school year. It wrote to the 139 districts and to the New York State Education Department, warning them that the practice was illegal, citing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v Doe (1982).
One district, near Rochester, agreed to remove from its registration material the statements: “If your child is not a U.S. citizen by birth, please bring your child’s I-94 form [or] Resident Alien Card. If the card is expired it will not be accepted.”
Other districts had similar prohibitions.
The NYCLU said in a statement that the state’s Department of Education had essentially blown off the civil liberties group’s outreach for 10 months, but “appears to have finally taken responsibility for the situation.”