NYC Schools Program to Help Undocumented Immigrant Parents

The New York Immigrant Coalition, a collective of immigration rights groups, recently announced a new initiative to establish Family Resource Centers in New York City public schools, which will provide essential services to undocumented immigrants with school-age children.

Five public schools – one in each NYC borough – will host the pilot centers, and plans are in the works to start them at other schools. The centers will aid undocumented immigrant parents in obtaining Consulate IDs, which will enable them to enter schools and government buildings, and will provide parent education regarding the U.S. school system.

“The multi-service FRC provides a vehicle for greater parent engagement in their children’s education and for greater civic and economic integration as well for immigrant families,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the NYIC. She praised the mayor’s office and other city agencies, as well as private funders, for supporting the program.

The Family Resource Center program aims to improve the graduation rate and college-readiness of immigrant students, as only 7 percent of students classified as English language learners are career- and college-ready after leaving NYC schools, according to an NYIC press release.

A new immigration law in Alabama requires public schools in the state to ascertain the citizenship status of students at the time of enrollment. Since the law took effect, as many as 2,000 students have stopped attending school, Agence France-Presse recently reported.