New York school districts to stop asking about immigration status

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – School districts in 14 New York counties have agreed to stop inquiring about the immigration status of prospective students and their guardians, the state attorney general said yesterday.

Twenty school districts had illegally asked for items including copies of Social Security cards and the disclosure of visa status in their enrollment material, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

“Schoolhouse doors must be open to all students in our diverse state, regardless of their immigration status,” Schneiderman said. “More than 30 years after the Supreme Court guaranteed a free public education for undocumented children, we must do everything we can to uphold the law and ensure equal access for all our students.”

Requiring the disclosure of citizenship and immigration status by students or their guardians can discourage undocumented students from enrolling, impeding their access and right to public education, Schneiderman’s office said.

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