Feds Tell States They Cannot Inquire on Student Immigration Status

Federal lawmakers are telling public school officials that it is illegal to inquire about their students’ immigration statuses, following a failed piece of legislation from the Georgia House of Representatives that would require school districts to publish that information, according the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

House Bill 296 would have required the state’s Board of Education to report on how much money was spent educating illegal immigrants in kindergarten through 12th grade, which would then be posted on the board’s website. However, the newspaper reported that federal officials said the move would go against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe, which says school districts must educate all students despite their legal status.

The legislation was sponsored by Representative Josh Clark of Buford. Although the source said HB 296 never made it out of committee this year, Clark has reportedly said he will try to push for it again next year.

On May 11, Democrats in the US Senate re-introduced the DREAM Act, legislation that has been adamantly supported by President Barack Obama. The bill would put undocumented immigrants who entered the US as children and have a clean record on a conditional path to citizenship.