Recently, it has come to my attention that a certain school in the Glendale School District has been threatening to deny access to immigrant students who are unable to show proof of immigration status. In this incident, the school official asked the parent to provide proof of legal status in order to enroll. Do not let such threats frighten you or your children. Although asking to see proof of status is legal, barring the student from enrollment into public schools based on immigration status is illegal. Such acts by public school officials are in violation of the laws of the United States of America. As the law stands now, the right to public education exists for ALL children, regardless of immigration status.
Education is one of the most important things in a young person’s life. Ever since the landmark case of Plyer v. Doe, 457 U.S. 292 (1982), it has been the law that no state government can deny public education to the children of undocumented aliens. In this case, the Supreme Court held that denying education to children merely because of their immigration status would violate several parts of the Constitution, including the Equal Protection and the Due Process clauses. This is still the law of the land. Despite what anyone says, at this time, the right to public education still remains for all children within the United States no matter what their immigration status.
Last year, the voters of California passed a measure known as Proposition 187 which would deny certain public benefits, including education to children who could not prove their legal status. Some misinformed people think that Proposition 187 is now the law. However, Proposition 187 has been stopped by the courts. When the measure was passed by the voters, several lawsuits were immediately filed in federal court. Among these lawsuits were League of United Latin American Citizens, et al. v. Pete Wilson, Children Who Want an Education, et al. v. Pete Wilson, Barbara Ayala, et al. v. Pete B. Wilson and Gregorio T., et al. v. Pete Wilson. All of these cases were consolidated into one case and the Federal District Court of the Central District of California quickly issued an injunction against most of the provisions of Proposition 187.
An injunction is a legal device which blocks the enforcement of a law or a certain act when irreparable damage may result if the law or act is allowed to be enforced. The injunction in this case prohibits enforcement of the provisions dealing with public health care services and public education. Therefore, any school district who defies this injunction may be sued for violating the civil rights of the child or may also be found in contempt of a court ordered injunction.
I am disappointed to learn that certain employees within the school system have attempted to discourage some children from attending school. Our firm will not tolerate the use of the public school system as a political playground. Any school district that engages in this type of behavior should be sued for civil rights violations. Remember, the Constitution requires that all children no matter what their status in the country are entitled to education. If you or any of your friends anywhere in the United States has encountered a problem that relates to their children being harassed or intimidated regarding their immigration status when enrolling into public schools, our firm is ready and willing to assist you to get the education to which all children are entitled.
I have already warned the City of Glendale that I will take appropriate steps to protect the civil rights of any child whose enrollment into public school is denied. I will not stand by and let innocent children suffer for some political agenda. Children will not be denied their fundamental right to education.