Ask About Immigration Status, and the ACLU May Come After You

By Mary Ann Zehr — September 10, 2008 1 min read
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For years, many state education agencies have been telling educators they can’t ask students about their immigration status because the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe, gives all children the right to a free K-12 education in this country regardless of their immigration status.

School officials can ask parents or students for proof of residency in a school district but not for a Social Security number.

Still, some school staff and educators flub up on this and ask for immigration information when parents try to register their children for school. See my Education Week article from April 2007, “Immigration Status Queries Still a Problem.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey decided to address this violation of federal law in New Jersey head on. tells the story.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.