NJ Schools Violate Laws

STATE—The American Civil Liberties Union found that 196 New Jersey jurisdictions acted in violation of federal, state and constitutional laws forbidding schools from asking for immigration status or Social Security numbers to register.

The organization identified six Union County school districts and one charter school that acted in violation of the law.

Garwood, Mountainside, the Queen City Academy Charter School in Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle Park, Springfield, and Summit requested information that would reveal the immigration status of children seeking to enroll or their parents.

The ACLU contacted 635 public school entities in all counties of New Jersey to follow-up on a similar survey conducted two years ago, that found 58 of the 224 districts surveyed required proof of a child’s immigration status.

“Two years after our first survey of schools, we’ve found the same problems, and in many cases, in the same schools,” said Seeratan. “Many of New Jersey’s children won’t have equal access to an education unless schools follow the law and treat all students equally.”

A 2004 Pew Hispanic Center study found that Latinos in New Jersey were the most likely to feel that discrimination in school interfered with their ability to succeed in this country.

“Every child in New Jersey has a right to an education,” said Deborah Jacobs, ACLU-NJ executive director. “It’s in our best interests as a society for all children to be educated.”

“New Jersey, as one of the most diverse states in the nation, has a special obligation to make sure all children, from every background and walk of life, can have a solid education,” said Jacobs.

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