ANTHONY WATSON: NY Attorney General threatening to sue schools that won't enroll illegal immigrants

The New York State Attorney General Letitia James and State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa sent a letter to schools threatening legal action against institutions that refuse to enroll illegal immigrants.

The letter, sent to public schools in the state on Monday, “reminds” school administrators that “all children and youth in New York between the ages of 5 and 21 have the right to a free public-school education, regardless of immigration status, language proficiency, or whether the student is living in a shelter, migrant camp, or other temporary housing.” The letter then warns, “Policies that make it difficult or impossible for migrant children and youth to enroll in school are contrary to state education regulations and may expose schools to legal liability.”

Since April, more than 100,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in New York City, and currently, nearly one million undocumented immigrants live in the state. The self-declared “sanctuary city” has, to the ire of residents, transformed hotels, schools, ports, and city streets into “temporary” migrant shelters — quickly changing the culture, crime rates, and community in the area.

One city resident and business owner Joe Germanotta — who happens to be popstar Lady Gaga’s father — told the New York Post that since the migrants arrived, “they have basically taken over,” Germanotta said.
 
“‘Hookers are coming and going. In the mornings, you see prostitutes coming out of the building,’ he explained. ‘The worst part’s at night. The noise. It starts at about 10 o’clock, and it’ll go until 4 in the morning. Playing music and racing their motocross and motorbikes up and down the streets.'”

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Many of these migrants brought their children, who are by New York state law entitled to a free public education, with them. Educators in the state have cited growing concerns regarding the lack of infrastructure, supplies, and staff to properly manage the influx of non-English speaking students.

“As our state welcomes large numbers of migrant families into our communities, some schools have raised concerns about their ability to accommodate swelling enrollment and the need for greater English-language-learner resources,” the AG and Education Commissioner’s letter reads. The letter did not address whether or not the state would be providing resources to public schools to manage the increased enrollment but rather reinforced that schools do not have the right to turn these students away.

The letter firmly states that schools must “immediately enroll” students living in temporary housing or migrant shelters, “even if the student cannot provide proofs of residency, immunizations, school records, or other documents typically required for registration.”

Image: Title: NY AG
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