160+ Civil Rights and Education Groups to DeVos: Clarify Legal Protections for Immigrant Children

WASHINGTON—Following her erroneous remarks last week at a House Education and the Workforce Committee oversight hearing, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and more than 160 civil rights and education groups called on Secretary Betsy DeVos to clarify that she understands and will enforce federal laws protecting the rights of immigrant children to attend schools.

The groups write:

“It is imperative that you immediately make clear publicly, to children, their families, and educators in every public school in multiple languages and through all of the Department’s communication channels that all children in this country have a right to a public education from kindergarten through 12th grade regardless of their immigration status. Schools may not do anything to deny or chill access to that constitutional right, including by reporting, or threatening to report, children to ICE. This right is protected by the Supreme Court and federal law and cannot be changed by the Secretary of Education, the Attorney General, any state, district, school, or any individual.”

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.