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  • Reports on GBV, Migrant Rights & Justice

    Ensuring Every Undocumented Student Succeeds: Access to Public Education for Undocumented Children

    An analysis of undocumented children's impediments to education, including enrollment procedures and post-enrollment services

    The U.S.'s 770,000 undocumented children have the right, and in fact have a legal obligation, to enroll in school. Yet enrollment procedures, post-enrollment services, and the fears of immigration enforcement impede their access.

    Undocumented children encounter the following barriers:

    • Rigid documentation requirements
    • Discriminatory practices in testing, grade placement, and prospects of graduation
    • Schools' and parents' lack of knowledge of policies for immediate enrollment without documentation
    • Forcible enrollment in alternative schools intended for children with correctional or behavioral needs
    • Schools' failure to communicate critical information, including report cards, education programs, and disciplinary proceedings
    • Fear and anxiety as a result of ICE’s recent enforcement actions

    Recommendations include:

    • Improved dissemination of guidance and training materials to the relevant teachers, registrars, administrators, and officials
    • Evaluation and improvement of policies that may discriminate against undocumented students
    • ICE and educational bodies should develop and implement policies that protect a child’s access to education from the chilling effects of ICE enforcement actions

    This report is the culmination of a year-long research project conducted by members of the Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute Fact-Finding Project and two attorneys from the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    • Modified: Friday, May 06, 2016
    • Published: