N.Y. Schools Advised Against Asking About Immigration Status
New York schools were strongly discouraged in a memo Monday from asking for information related to students’ immigration status during the enrollment process, a move to help protect the right of students to education in the state.
All students — regardless of immigration status — are allowed to attend school in New York if they can prove age and residency. But the American Civil Liberties Union found this summer that about 20 percent of the state’s public school districts may have barred or discouraged enrollment of immigrant students.
The memo comes at a time when “sanctuary policies” are increasingly under attack by opponents who argue they draw illegal immigrants to certain cities and states. Though not explicitly a sanctuary policy, New York’s education law allows illegal immigrants access to public goods and services. But as immigrants rights groups argue, policies that encourage illegal immigrants already in the country to access resources such as education, health services and law enforcement contribute to overall public safety.