Immigrant children without legal status in the United States are no longer permitted to enroll in school and access vital educational resources, a report by researchers from Georgetown University Law Center on school districts across four different states has revealed. Many students have faced long delays and have been turned away from schools because state laws and residency rules have been interpreted in an arbitrary manner by a number of districts, the researchers claim.
All children, including undocumented immigrants, must go to school until they turn 16 or graduate from the 8th grade thanks to compulsory education laws that apply to all 50 states. The Education Commission of the States says that a lot of US states will also allow students to enroll after that point.
However, the complicated paperwork requirements of a number of districts have effectively forced immigrant youngsters to stay out of school, with families being left ignorant about the process because the lack of interpretation and translation services, according to the report. The situation has been complicated even further by the attempts of the Obama administration to locate and deport tens of thousands of Central American families and unaccompanied minors who came to the United States during the illegal crossing surge of 2014, resulting in a number of students avoiding school out of fear of being detained by authorities.
Georgetown law student, Michaela Harris, who co-authored the study, says that US law is quite clear that no child living in the country should be unable to access public education regardless of their immigration status.