The Obama administration issued guidelines Thursday to ensure children can enroll in public schools even if they or their parents are living illegally in the United States.
Schools can't ask for proof of citizenship, block students if parents can't prove legal residency
The legal guidance from the Justice and Education departments allow school districts and states to ask for proof of students' age or that they are residents in the jurisdictions where they attend school. But schools can't require proof of citizenship or block students if parents can't prove their legal residency.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the legal guidance is in reaction to reports from around the country that some school districts have identification requirements that create hurdles for undocumented children to enroll in public schools, in violation of federal law.
School administrators can only ask for utility bills or apartment lease agreements to show a student lives in the district where they are attending school. They may ask for a parent's driver's license. But only to establish residency, not to determine legal immigration status, the guidelines say.
They also may ask for legal certification to show a child's age. But schools can't turn away students who can't provide a birth certificate or whose parents refuse to provide a Social Security number for the child or parent.