Obama tightens rules for undocumented K-12 students
The Obama administration has strengthened its stance on protecting public schools students who are undocumented immigrants. The policy includes guidelines on appropriate and inappropriate enrollment practices and they take the place of similar wording from 2011. The administration says that the reason for the enhanced language is due to 17 filed complaints on school enrollment policies in school districts in New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and even Washington D.C.
In referencing the new parts of the policy, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said “Our message is simple: Let all children living in your district enroll in school.”
The guidelines are just a small piece of a larger push for immigration reform from the Obama Administration, which is hoping to put enough pressure on Senators that some action for larger immigration reform is taken before summer recess that starts in August.
In 2011, Obama showed his support for immigrants and their right to education when he enacted the Dream Act that halted deportations of students and in some cases, their families. While the student portion of this legislation got a lot of attention, it also took a closer look at avoiding deportations of low-priority immigrant without criminal records.
Immigration reform is certainly a hot topic in Washington, especially as education funding seems to always be feeling a tight squeeze. Providing education to undocumented immigrant children, however, is an investment in the future economy of the country and should be considered a right — even for those who have entered the country illegally, but not of their own accord.