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Immigrant Students’ Rights to Attend Public Schools

Infographic – Welcoming Immigrant Students in SchoolPublic schools, by law, must serve all children. The education of undocumented students is guaranteed by the Plyler vs. Doe Supreme Court decision, and certain procedures must be followed when registering immigrant children in school to avoid violation of their civil rights.

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Plyler vs. Doe, public schools may not:

  • deny admission to a student during initial enrollment or at any other time on the basis of undocumented status;
  • treat a student differently to determine residency;
  • engage in any practices to “chill” the right of access to school;
  • require students or parents to disclose or document their immigration status;
  • make inquiries of students or parents intended to expose their undocumented status; or
  • require Social Security numbers from all students, as this may expose undocumented status.

See IDRA’s eBook for more details and many resources. 


Other IDRA Resources & ToolsImmigrant Students’ Rights to Attend Public Schools, bilingual flier (PDF)

See our bilingual Infographic – Welcoming Immigrant Students in School

See our School Opening Alert flier (in English and Spanish).

See our eNews School Opening Alert – August 2017.

See our Alert for Registering Students for School

See our bilingual eBook on Supporting Immigrant Students’ Rights to Attend Public Schools

See our webpage on serving Unaccompanied Immigrant Children