By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The federal Justice and Education Departments warned public school districts recently not to deny enrollment to immigrant students illegally, updating guidelines published three years ago, reminding districts who turn kids away, that they may be in violation of the law.

During these years, there have been complaints that led to legal action and reports that schools were demanding visas and Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses from parents, all documents illegal immigrants generally don’t have.

Schools can request proof of residence in the district – phone or utility bills and leases.

In March, the Butler School in Morris County, NJ, responding to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed to stop a policy requiring identity documents that could only be obtained if students had legal immigration status.

An article in The New York Times paraphrases Arne Duncan, federal Education Secretary,..too many schools are denying rights to undocumented children…The goal is to educate, not intimidate.

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