Bill To Ensure School Enrollment Of Children Regardless Of Immigration Status Gets Final Legislative Approval

Legislation to require the state to biannually distribute a letter to school districts reminding them of the requirement to enroll resident students regardless of immigration status was approved 27-5 today by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.

The bill, sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ruben J. Ramos Jr., Annette Quijano and Marlene Caride, is based on a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that undocumented children living in the United States could not be excluded from public elementary and secondary schools based upon their immigration status.

“These children were entitled to an appropriate public education,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “We’re talking about children who have no control over their immigration status, and we should want them to be enrolled in school and properly educated so they can become productive members of our society. When you think about it, this is just common sense.”

“It’s important to regularly remind school districts that a child’s immigration status does not affect his eligibility to attend public school,” said Quijano (D-Union). “We are rightly committed in New Jersey to educating each and every child, and this bill simply reminds everyone of that goal.”

“Requiring the Department of Education to biannually distribute a letter to each school district reminding the district of the obligation to enroll resident students regardless of immigration status is the right thing to do for children,” said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This is about fairness and ensuring a better future for our state.”

Under the bill, the letter must be distributed by Aug. 1 and Dec. 30 of each school year and must include information on the documentation that may be requested pursuant to state board regulations to demonstrate a student’s eligibility for enrollment in the district.

The bill now goes to the governor. TLS.

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  1. What is the cost of this bill to the states taxpayers? All school districts should know this since it has been law since the 80’s. With so many important things to do the Legislature wastes time on this.

  2. Address verification should be a must and only one family per legal residence should be allowed to enroll in school. This ensures that taxpayers shoulder the responsibility equally.

  3. i don’t understand this law. IT has only made the schools budget increase as the undocumented (illegal) families dont pay taxes in addition to getting free health care – creating a major deficit in our economy- while i pay 20-25K for my families health insurance, car insurance which has to cover the many uninsured drunk 99% of the time illegal undocumented people and their children get free tuition for education while i who pay taxes cant get anything back. Why? at least give me voucher for education for private schooling

    oh and the best is that they also have MULTI LINGUAL Spanish classes WHY- English is the language!!!!!! call any Public School district and Spanish is an option. And in some its the first option offered on the instructions and many times before English is offered. In some school districts the school is divided and the Spanish is spoken throughout the school and even the principals addresses the students in Spanish. This is here in NJ.

    Maybe we should enroll all our children in Public School and vote in a Multilingual instruction of Hebrew Studies with yiddish or Hebrew spoken. We can get in easily on the curriculum. We can also have separate classes as some new public schools and charter schoold are going back to the old ways of the 30-40’s when classes were made up based on gender.

    My sentiments, exactly. When i was in the hospital recently for a few days, the hospital staff did not speak English and i had a hard time communicating with them- is that normal in the United States of America?
    This is really nauseating!

  5. Don’t worry the Democrats have a plan to pay for this… Lets see if they raise taxes and borrow more money from China, that should pay for it.
    AND if you don’t like it, that’s because YOU are a racist and hate minorities. According to the Democrats if you make a dollar you have to share it, with others that are too lazy to work for it. How come the Democrats make the lowest donations to charities, of their own money, BUT have no problem giving away OUR money.

  6. I will explain Plyer v. Doe (1981) the Supreme Court case coming out of Texas requiring States to educate undocumented children. Plyer did not apply strict scrutiny to educating undocumented aliens because 1) education is not a fundamental right and 2) undocumented aliens are not a suspect class under the Fourteenth Amendment. As long as the exclusion of undocumented children is rationally related to the State’s goal of educating its children, the Equal Protection Clause is not violated. But the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over immigration. As long as Congress and the President have not acted or expressed intentions to deport the children, the denial of education amounts to punishment of the child for the actions of their parents, which is irrational. Thus, the Texas law failed the rational basis test.

    Although a state may choose not to provide public schools at all, once it has done so, schooling becomes relatively too important in the life of the individual child to be considered a mere privilege. Since most undocumented aliens spend a good part, if not all, of their school years in the United States, exclusion from the schools will leave permanent disability to the child and to the nation as a whole, since the child may remain in the country permanently. This became the law of the land.

    The irony is that in Lakewood most of our citizens, almost all of whom will remain in town their whole lives, cannot get a free or authentic English education and vocational training. This will not change until one of our own that knows the burdens and concerns of our people, who believes that the district belongs to the people, that the district has to adapt, not yeshivas which are protected by the First Amendment, with the brains and willingness to solve our problems, is given executive command of the Central Office.

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