Immigration: U.S. warns schools against bias

Districts reminded they have legal obligation to enroll every student regardless of immigration status
Associated Press
May 9, 2014

 

Despite a 32-year-old court ruling, school districts continue to raise barriers to enrollment for children brought into the U.S. illegally, the Obama administration said Thursday, characterizing reports of hindrances as troubling.

The Justice Department and Education Department issued new guidance reminding schools and districts they have a legal obligation to enroll every student regardless of immigration status. The guidance says schools should be flexible in deciding which documents they will accept to prove a student's age or residency.

The guidance also reminds them not to ask about a student's immigration status or require documents such as a driver's license, if that would prevent a student from enrolling because of a parent's immigration status.

The Education Department said it is investigating 14 schools or districts for possible violations since 2011. They are in Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia. There were four complaints against Kansas City, Kansas, Unified School District 500.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that in some instances, school leaders have inappropriately required information such as a child's visa status or date of entry into the United States.

Justice Department officials said they also have taken action, sometimes collaboratively with the Education Department and sometimes working separately. The Justice Department has entered into settlement agreements with school districts in states such as Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. And it said that after it contacted officials in Alabama, the state education department sent guidance to districts spelling out that they may not bar or discourage students from enrollment because they lack a Social Security number or birth certificate or because their parents don't have an Alabama driver's license.

In a settlement with the district in Palm Beach County, Florida, the district agreed to provide translation help during enrollment and to permit homeless students who lack documentation to enroll.

In Henry County, Georgia, as part of a separate settlement, the district agreed to ensure that a parent's decision to withhold a child's Social Security number will not keep the child from enrolling.

J.D. Hardin, a spokesman for Henry County schools, said students never were barred from classes in the district, located about 20 minutes south of metro Atlanta. District officials believed they could start to withdraw a child under Georgia's enrollment rules if a parent didn't provide a Social Security number or fill out a waiver within 30 days after the student began classes, he said.

Since the settlement, students stay in class, Hardin said.

Matt Cardoza, a spokesman for Georgia's Education Department, said the state worked with federal officials while updating enrollment requirements in 2011. Cardoza said state education staff will follow up on any complaints they receive about enrollment problems.

Officials from the U.S. Education and Justice departments said they have found that states and districts are willing to work with the federal government on the issue.

"It's a tribute to educators around the country that they recognize how important it is for kids to be able to attend school and are willing to take the steps necessary to ensure they aren't even inadvertently chilling students' willingness or families' willingness to attend them," said Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Justice Department.

Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters his department "will do everything it can to make sure schools meet this obligation."

Children brought into the U.S. illegally are guaranteed the right to a K-12 education under the 1982 Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe.

Noelle M. Ellerson, associate executive director for policy and advocacy at AASA: The School Superintendents Association, said in an email that the association appreciates the additional clarification.

Comments

Darwin's choice

Really???? What's "troubling" is the failure of the incompetent in charge to enforce laws regarding ILLEGAL immigrants!!! This is just another consequence of the obama's administration lack regard for the Constitution and the current immigration policy!

obama/failure

coasterfan

Rolls eyes. If Obama cured cancer, Darwin's Choice would complain that he put oncologists out of work.

Those of us who get our news from somewhere other than the alternate reality found on Fox know that Obama has deported more than 2 million illegal aliens, more than his predecessor. We also know that he has pushed for new immigration policies but has been stopped by....wait for it....wait for it...
the Republican Party.

It's this sort of denial that runs rampant in today's Republican Party, which, of course, if fine by me. As long as they are clueless about what is actually happening in America, we Dems will continue to win national elections.

Contango

Re: "If Obama cured cancer,"

What a stretch!

Hell, Pres. Obama can't even create jobs and you want your pseudo- Messiah to heal the sick and cure the blind?

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Off-topic and most importantly: How’s the house selling goin’?

looking around

The cure for cancer maybe was a stretch, but he made good points on the rest!

Darwin's choice

Which points would that be?

And what part of ILLEGAL do you agree with?

And that troll saying obama can butter toast would be another lie!

Justme...

"If Obama cured cancer"...that was sarcasm, I'm pretty sure.

Donegan

"we Dems will continue to win national elections." That's all that matters to you huh?
Those Germans in the 30's thought the same way. Too bad not one of you dems actually have a clue about whats going on because if your god says it, it is the Gospel even though rational people know its a lie.
Obama's one job is to enforce laws passed by congress, Not make the laws no matter how much you want him to have that power.

anthras

Re:"Those of us who get our news from somewhere other than the alternate reality found on Fox know that Obama has deported more than 2 million illegal aliens, more than his predecessor."

Previously illegal immigrants that have been deported were those that had entered the country and were living here illegally. Those that were returned while attempting to enter the country were not counted.

The Obama group is now counting those that are turned back at the boarder as deported.

Also due to the Obama struggling economy there are actually fewer attempting to enter the country.

rbenn

more pinochios for the liar and chief!!! President Barack Obama earned “four Pinochios” from the Washington Post Fact Checker, the highest ranking for a political lie, for asserting that Republicans filibustered 500 pieces of legislation, an exaggeration of nearly five times the reality.

Washington Post fact check finds Obama lie on filibuster
President Barack Obama speaks at the USC Shoah Foundation’s 20th anniversary Ambassadors for Humanity gala in Los Angeles, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Obama received an award from the foundation created by movie director Steven Spielberg and plans to spend three days in California where he will raise money for the Democratic Party. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Obama spoke at a fundraising event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Los Angeles Wednesday, and made the charge against Republican lawmakers.

“Here’s what’s more disconcerting; their willingness to say no to everything — the fact that since 2007, they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress — has actually led to an increase in cynicism and discouragement among the people who were counting on us to fight for them,” Obama said.

The Post unsparingly said of the president’s assertion, “On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous.”

“We realize that Senate rules are complex and difficult to understand, but the president did serve in the Senate and should be familiar with its terms and procedures. Looking at the numbers, he might have been able to make a case that Republicans have blocked about 50 bills that he had wanted passed, such as an increase in the minimum wage,” the Post said. “But instead he inflated the numbers to such an extent that he even included votes in which he, as senator, supported a filibuster.”

.
The Post said that in reality, “there have just been 133 successful filibusters—meaning a final vote could not take place–since 2007.”

Obama was bending the definition of filibuster, which means extending debate to delay a vote on a bill. However, the Post said he was likely referring to 527 cloture motions that were filed in the Senate since 2007 to close debate and go straight to a vote.

To automatically correlate a cloture motion and filibuster is inaccurate, the Post said, citing studies from both the non-partisan Congressional Research Service and the left-leaning think tank Brookings Institution.

The 2013 CRS report said, “it would be erroneous, however, to treat this table as a list of filibusters on nominations.”

The 2002 Brookings report asserted 94 percent correlation rate between cloture motions and filibusters from 1917 1996. “But, even if you accept the way Senate Democrats like the frame the issue, the president is still wrong,” the Post said.

“He referred to ‘legislation’—and most of these cloture motions concerned judicial and executive branch nominations. In the 113th Congress, for instance, 83 of the 136 cloture motions so far have concerned nominations, not legislation.”

The Post noted that Obama referenced two years before he was president, when he was voting himself to block votes on legislation.

“Obama’s count also includes at least a half-dozen instances when Republicans were blocked by Democrats through use of the filibuster. In fact, in the biggest oddity, the president reached back to 2007 in making his claim, so he includes two years when he was still a senator,” the Post said. “On eight occasions, he voted against ending debate—the very thing he decried in his remarks

Mum-of-One

A school district has no business knowing a person's immigration status. Immigration status is irrelevant. A school district's job is to educate our children not to ascertain immigration status and then profile because of it. There are many aspects to immigration that a school district cannot possibly understand. Immigration status issues is the job of Homeland Security.

SamAdams

What an unbelievable crock! OUR kids have to have birth certificates, proof of vaccination, Social Security numbers...how, pray tell, do illegals provide that sort of thing? And if they don't (and they can't), how is it that THEIR children are given preferential treatment over OURS?

Yes, schools are supposed to educate children. Yes, public education is free in this country because we, the people, pay for it with our taxes. Illegals typically pay NO property taxes, all too often represent a health threat (seen the news headlines lately?), and add countless dollars to the cost of free lunch programs, healthcare, and multi-lingual classrooms.

The only thing kids are learning from this is that crime DOES pay! And correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that's a lesson most parents are thrilled to have their kids learn!

NOTE: This is not a reflection on whether or not illegal immigrant children are evil, stupid, or lesser in any way. It is rather a reflection on the law AND on common sense. If you'd call the police if somebody invaded your home, ate your food, wore your clothes, and categorically not only refused to leave but demanded you care for him, then you've no business opposing immigration enforcement!

coasterfan

Well, there are LOTS of things that are "an unbelievable crock".

My favorite:

In Ohio, you need an ID to prove your identity in order to vote, but (thanks to Citizen's United ruling allowing unlimited campaign contributions) you DON'T need to identify yourself in order to BUY AN ELECTION. Both of the above, of course, were pushed through by Republicans. This is their idea of "fair and impartial".

By the way, I don't oppose immigration enforcement. I just think they should have a path to citizenship/amnesty. You know, like OUR ancestors enjoyed? Once they become legal citizens, they have to pay taxes like the rest of us, so - if they're gonna stay - why not make it work to America's advantage? By opposing amnesty, you're virtually assuring that they continue to pay nothing into the system.

Whenever Republicans use the phrase "THOSE people" in a sentence, or when that mindset is apparent in what they say and do, it's obvious what their real motivations are: they don't like anyone who isn't like them, especially when those people aren't likely to vote Republican.

An easier and better solution is available: the conservative party should start being a more inclusive, open-minded group with platforms that immigrants don't find appalling. You guys are seen as racist, but we're not allowed to call you on that without you whining that we are using the "race card". When Fox News champions people like Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling, it's silly to assume that people wouldn't get the message that conservatives tend to side with racists.

Contango

Re: "unlimited campaign contributions"

What were campaign finance rules prior to 1974?

Typical dumbed-down, overpaid bureaucrats: They need more 'solutions' to the problems they create.

It's called: Job security.

coasterfan

Re: problems that they create, I would include voter ID laws, which, of course address a non-existent problem that the Ohio Republican Party has invented: voter fraud. We all know the real reason, don't we? The GOP can't win elections unless they unethically tilt the tables in their advantage.

Wow. You had to go back to 1974 to find a weak argument on your behalf? Sorry, dude. You don't let us Democrats bring up the years 2000-2008, so 1974 is equally irrelevant to any discussion about 2014.

Contango

Re: "1974"

Per usual, since you wish to remain historically ignorant:

Almost unlimited campaign financing.

Good that the progressive bureaucrats "fixed it" so that they can fix it over and over again. Job security.

So why did Pres. Obama first agree to and then refuse fed financing and campaign spending limits?

Typical progressive hypocrite.

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So how's the house selling goin'?

Darwin's choice

The troll moved bridges?

rbenn

Ok toaster, you need ID to get welfare and foodstamps, wheres the outcry from the left on that? Also, my tax dollars should not be used to give ILLEGALS an education!

vcreed123

You don't think you should have to provide ID to vote??

anthras

An ID to vote? Actually past president Bill Clinton seemed to have a good idea. He suggested that a persons photo ID could be placed on their social security card.

This would not seem to discriminate against rich, poor or any minority group.

Donegan

I think all the illegals need to go to Coasters house and hang out, She wants the rest of us to support them with tax money. Fair is fair.

Justme...

Coasterfan, what about the fact that US citizens have to provide birth certificates to enroll their children in schools??

looking around

Sam say's "Yes, schools are supposed to educate children. Yes, public education is free in this country because we, the people, pay for it with our taxes. Illegals typically pay NO property taxes"

I assume that these Illegals rent from someone who many claim factor in their school taxes in the rent charged? Perhaps we need a regulation for landlords to present an invoice showing basic rent with additional charges to cover various taxes, sort of like our phone, cable and various other utility's. Meanwhile the same guy that rents to them probably benefits by their cheap labor.

coasterfan

LOL, Rbenn. Republicans don't want to give ANYONE an education, and that includes American citizens. As soon as your party stops cutting funding to education on the federal, state and local level, as soon as they stop being anti-education/anti-science, then you'll be allowed to sit at the "big people table" and join the discussion, ok?

If you're worried about your tax dollars, why not complain about the current GOP Benghazi witch hunt? The GOP has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on this. We've already had thirteen (13) hearings, fifty (50) briefings on this, and have generated more than 25,000 pages of documents, yet conservatives think there must be something that bipartisan committees didn't find.

A bipartisan report in April said there were "no efforts by the White House or any Executive Branch entities to cover up facts or to make alterations for political purposes", yet Republicans STILL won't give up.

If you're looking to stop wasting your tax dollars, can I assume that you'll be writing the GOP leadership to complain?

SamAdams

Oh, yes, and the AWESOME Democrats have imposed Common Core as part of the free education you claim Republicans don't want to offer. Interesting, then, that teachers' UNIONS in New York and Chicago are now actively opposing Common Core (right along with a number of other locales and a boatload of conservatives who realized a lot sooner what a joke the program is).

Tell you what: As punishment for sneaking into the country, let's give illegals a free Common Core curriculum! At least that'll guarantee "the man" (in this case, the Obama Department of Education) keeps 'em down, eh?

Contango

Re: "Republicans don't want to give ANYONE an education,"

coasterfan: The king of silly straw man arguments.

rbenn

toaster I have asked you the same question numerous times and I will repeat again, YOU HAVE TO SHOW ID TO GET WELFARE AND FOODSTAMPS, WHY ARENT YOU LIBERALS CRYING SUPPRESSION ABOUT THAT? And response to your other lopsided comments, does Solyndra and many other OBAMA cash cows ring a bell? Although I agree with you there is waste on both sides and its sickening. Try to be more balanced. ALL I say again ALL politicians are crooks and liars. And yes I have written many times to repub reps about wasteful spending.

coasterfan

Tango: Huh? It's not a personal opinion that the Republican Party is anti-education / anti-Science. It's common knowledge based on the history we've all lived through in the past 20-30 years. If your party continues to cut funding to Education, you get to live with the anti-education reputation you've cultivated. If they continue to insist that climate change and evolution and scads of other scientific facts aren't real, guess what?

Sam: I, too, oppose Common Core. In my job, I spend all day talking with Ohio teachers, and any who mention Common Core are decidedly against it. Most educators vote Democrat. I see that being anti- teacher union is something you feel strongly about. In my mind, that doesn't make you pro-education in the least. But it would probably get you an RNC membership card.

The telling thing about this entire discussion: the article was a warning against bias, and by griping about it, the conservatives above are, in effect, arguing in favor of bias.

As usual, they are on the wrong side of any/all types of social change in America, especially those that might bring equal rights to someone they consider inferior. It's an appalling stance, to be sure... The sad part is that they, like Cliven Bundy, have no idea just how reprehensible their point of view really is.

deertracker

I applaud your efforts to educate the ignorant Coaster but you are wasting your time. Some believe what they want to instead of the truth.

Darwin's choice

Says the queen of ignorance....!

Contango

Re: "It's not a personal opinion,"

You continue to make the thinking error that by repeating your fallacies they will 'miraculously' become facts. Talk about "creationism". lol

The Repubs and the Dems have socio-economic philosophical differences with similar end results in mind.

I agree with some and disagree with others, i.e. an Independent.

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You're not answering my question.

Wassa matter, house sellin' not goin' well?

anthras

Re:"If your party continues to cut funding to Education, you get to live with the anti-education reputation you've cultivated."

I have never seen any CREDITABLE evidence that more money assures a better education. If class room money would provide a better education why not eliminate the federal department of education? The money saved could be used in the classrooms.

The department was created under double digit Jimmy Carter and it seems that this country continues to drop in world education the last I seen our status I think wee were 23rd or 24th in the world in education and when I went to school this country was the standard for education.

When I graduated high school and presented my graduation certificate to prospective employer he would know that if he hired me that I could read, write and be proficient in math that is not true with the graduates today. The states were in charge of education at that time and it did seem to work better than our present day education system.

Darwin's choice

So, you spend all day talking to teachers???? As your last reported job was a travel agent, how is this lie possible?

Troll/fail

coasterfan

Deer, you're right, of course. My motivation is not to educate the ignoramuses, but rather to get our viewpoint out to Independents who read the paper.

Although conservatives moan about the "liberal media", about 95% of the politically based talk radio leans far to the right. And don't get me started about the all the shouting on Fox. Other than MSNBC and Sirius/XM Channel 117, there really isn't anything for leftwing/liberals. As far as media coverage, they have us outnumbered 10 to 1, but still complain that everything is skewed. It IS skewed, but in the opposite way they assert.

Fox only tells half of the story most of the time, and that's the real problem. If you only get your information from them, what they say DOES sound plausible. But everything is filtered through their ultra-conservative lens, and they obviously omit facts that don't back up their viewpoints, and distort the information they do report. It's only when you read the same story elsewhere that you get the full picture.

The average Fox viewer apparently is unable to discern the difference between a news broadcast and a discussion. Here's a hint: if you see one person on screen, it could be news. If you see 2-3 people on screen, it's not news, it's a point-counterpoint/opinion discussion.

Heck, even comedy shows (Daily Show and Colbert Report) do a more accurate job than Fox at actually reporting news events.

Donegan

Most independents will probably either go third party or against the liar and chiefs party. Proven fact that Americans do not like the executive and the legislative to be controlled by one party. We like our checks and balances.
BTW Going on about Fox just shows you watch it more than normal folks who get their info from the web.

Contango

Re: "My motivation is not to educate the ignoramuses,"

Exactly. Your "motivation" is not to reasonably and rationally debate but to continually vomit out your tired, old, shop-worn Marxist political philosophy.

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Few showings on your house?

If so, your price is too high.

Darwin's choice

The price has nothing to do with it, it's the smell of failure that can't be washed away!

anthras

Re:"Fox only tells half of the story most of the time, and that's the real problem."

I do watch Fox amongst others and usually on Fox if they talk about a political subject they usually have a commentator and 2 guests 1 liberal and 1 conservative and the liberal and conservative both have the opportunity to speak.

It might seem slanted because the liberal is not able to support his view on the subject.

santown419

Anthras let's be real I use to watch fox and they do not give the liberal a equal say and it is usually two or three republicans and one dem who more times than not if they don't say what fox agree with they will get almost always get cut short.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Coaster you could fool me if you are trying to appeal to Independents. I've taken a strong lurch in that direction over the last few years because I'm sick of the party crap. Yet despite you trying to get your viewpoint out you SOURCE NOTHING, are painfully partisan in your opinions, use shoddy math/examples, and continually make suppositions about other peoples' lives that (in my case and presumably others') I find insulting.

Cut out the hackneyed "Democrats rule and Republicans drool" and maybe you'll actually accomplish your goal instead of sounding like a paid megaphone for the Democratic Party. You can also do more to reply to people who ask you questions or challenge your thoughts (and again, cite your material). There's a reason why efforts like Air America and the Jerry Springer radio show are on a dusty shelf somewhere and for that matter where is the "other side's" equivalent of a Constitutional liberal arts school like Hillsdale? Why don't these efforts actually work in the private marketplace?

mitchello

1. ILLEGALS should not be receiving any sort of benefits. This is not longer a unestablished land. We are an established country with laws and rules and ILLEGALS are not even citizens, they do not have the same legal rights.
2. ILLEGALS should be deported period.
3. This is not the land of the free because things are free and don't cost anything.

Darwin's choice

See this post coasterfan? Troll!

rbenn

Toaster has avoided my question all day!! Come on toaster I will ask you again, Why is it you libs aren't screaming about the fact you have to show ID to get gov freebies? Please enlighten me. Why don't you libs call this suppression?