N.Y. Warns Schools: Don’t Block Enrollment of Migrants

N.Y. Warns Schools: Don’t Block Enrollment of Migrants

Monday, 28 August 2023 04:29 PM EDT

New York officials told school districts that any policies designed to prevent the enrollment of illegal immigrants could lead to lawsuits and fines.

Democrat members of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration said in a recent letter that their worries were spurred by the discovery that some schools were requiring children’s parents to provide voter identification.

State Attorney General Letitia James and Education Commissioner Betty Rosa also noted that they found schools mandating that a student’s residency be over 30 days old or have proof of where they regularly live.

James and Rosa’s offices “have recently learned that some districts employ enrollment policies that make it difficult or impossible for noncitizens, undocumented students, and people who rent their homes without a formal lease to register for school,” the letter read.

The questionable policies are “of particular concern” and might “violate constitutional and statutory protections, exposing school districts to lawsuits and liability,” it added.

The letter from James and Rosa serves as a rebuffing of an existing state law. The New York Post noted Monday that all people ages 5 through 21, including illegal immigrants, are guaranteed public education in the state.

However, local districts have been reacting to a surge of illegal immigrants originating south of the U.S. border to New York since 2022. New York City expects nearly 19,000 migrant kids to attend its public schools this year.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has called for more federal funds to support the housing and eventual authorization of the migrants. The Biden administration last week revealed another $77 million in aid.

“We’ve been saying it since last year: We need the federal government to allow asylum-seekers to work so they can provide for themselves and their families,” Adams said Thursday.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.