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External Resources

Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)
The text of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe.

Federal Guidance on Rights of Children to Access Public School (DOJ/DOE Dear Colleague Letter on Plyler)
A joint letter from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education explaining the right of all children to attend public school, regardless of immigration status, and the types of documentation districts may and may not require from students as part of the enrollment process.

Public Education for Immigrant Students: Understanding Plyler v. Doe (American Immigration Council)
A fact sheet from the American Immigration Council providing an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler and subsequent efforts by states and localities to avoid compliance with the decision. This resource explains the facts, basis, and dissent for the Plyler v. Doe ruling.

Kennedy’s Retirement Also Jeopardizes Public Education for Undocumented Children (Slate)
This article from Slate.com discusses how the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy has the potential to weaken Plyler v. Doe and endanger undocumented students’ right to public education. If the Plyler decision was reversed, many undocumented students could lose their opportunity to receive public K-12 education, which could further harm them because a requirement for DACA is that students are currently enrolled in school.

Guidance and Model Policies to Assist California’s K-12 Schools in Responding to Immigration Issues (Attorney General of California)
The Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra, issued guidance on how California’s K-12 public schools should address immigration issues. For instance, school districts educating undocumented students should not release students’ immigration status to enforcement agents without a court order or subpoena. Districts should also limit the access of immigration enforcement agents on school campuses unless there is an “exigent circumstance” or the officer has a federal judicial warrant.

Advisory for Massachusetts Colleges and Universities Regarding Immigrant Students (Attorney General of Massachusetts)
The Attorney General of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, issued guidance on how Massachusetts’ public and private colleges and universities should address issues facing immigrant students. For example, institutions of higher learning (IHEs) should support and include immigrant students – whether they be undocumented, DACA recipients, or have Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”). IHEs can also limit the amount of information they request that could pertain to students’ or their family members’ citizenship/immigration status.

Washington State Immigration Enforcement Guidance for K-12 and Higher Education (Attorney General of Washington State)
Bob Ferguson, Attorney General of Washington State, issued guidance on immigration enforcement. Part VI in particular focuses on K-12 and higher education and provides suggestions for when immigration issues arise on school property. The guidance also offers best practices for educational institutions, such as not collecting information on students’ immigration status.

Children Belong in School. You’d Think the Education Secretary Would Know That (Washington Post). 
The Editorial Board of the Washington Post criticized Secretary DeVos’s statement that it is up to states and localities whether teachers and principals must report undocumented students and families to ICE. This flies in the face of the Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe and continues the administration’s open hostility towards immigrants, including immigrant children and families.

Safe Havens: Protecting and Supporting New York State’s Immigrant Students (Education Trust – New York)
This report from the Education Trust–New York and its partner organizations examines the ways in which New York’s school districts serve and interact with immigrant students and families and makes recommendations for school districts, the New York State Education Department, and the Attorney General’s Office.

Undocumented Students’ Rights of Equal Access to K-12 Public Schools (Education Counsel)
This memorandum from the Education Counsel responds to President Trump’s actions to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This memo outlines the settled rights of students, regardless of immigration status, to equal access to public education.

Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights Refuses to Protect Civil Rights (UnidosUS)
This blog post from UnidosUS discusses President Trump’s nominee to lead the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education – Kenneth Marcus – and his failure to clearly state that he would use the powers of the office to protect against racial discrimination and illegal policies that would prevent undocumented immigrants from enrolling in schools.

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