This week, Eric Holder, the United State Attorney General, reminded school districts that they need to be educating all children, including immigrants. He stated that, it is their responsibility to be educating all children, documented or undocumented. His office, along the Education department, have issued guidelines to be sure that school districts comply with federal law.
One point one million undocumented children under the age of eighteen live in the United States, according to Homeland Security. This news is very well received in the Latino community. Undocumented children have the right to a public education, thanks to the 1982 Supreme Court decision, and the administration is simply reiterating that right.
The reason for the administrations declaration, is that many school districts are asking parents for their driver’s licenses, or Social Security numbers before they will enroll their children in their schools. Asking these questions are illegal, and the Justice department is now providing school districts around the country with lists of documents that they can request of parents, like copies of bills to prove residency, and prior school records to prove age.
The Justice Department has received numerous complaints, which have led to legal action against school districts for their discrimination against immigrants. The purpose behind this new initiative, is to help curb lawsuits and discrimination, which immigrants are filing against the school districts. Many districts do not even realize that they are breaking the law by asking for certain documents before enrolling students.
Taxpayers are the ones that carry the burden of educating all children. The more children that are in public schools, the more that is spent from taxes on the schools. However, undocumented immigrants pay taxes, just like everyone else. A nonpartisan study showed that ten point six billion dollars, in state and local taxes, were paid by undocumented immigrants. By educating the children, they will be able to improve their lives, and create a better future for themselves. They will be able to contribute better to society by getting an education. They will also learn English and American values, which will benefit everyone around them, and help provide them a more secure future.
The purpose of the United States Education System is to educate, and welcome all potential students. The Justice Department is simply reaffirming those goals, and making sure that school districts are following the law, as stated by the Supreme Court. When children are educated, their future is better, and everyone benefits from a well educated society.