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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, October 23, 2015

Ed Dept. to Schools: You Must Teach All Students, Regardless Of Legal Status

National Journal
By Emily DeRuy
October 22, 2015

The Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment just is­sued a subtle re­mind­er to edu­cat­ors across the coun­try: Re­gard­less of cit­izen­ship or im­mig­ra­tion status, all stu­dents are leg­ally en­titled to edu­ca­tion in the United States.

Aimed at high school and col­lege stu­dents as well as edu­cat­ors, a new guide lays out in­form­a­tion about de­ferred ac­tion for child­hood ar­rivals (DACA), which of­fers some young people a tem­por­ary re­prieve from de­port­a­tion and opens ac­cess to some jobs and schol­ar­ships. The guide also out­lines which states al­low un­doc­u­mented col­lege stu­dents to ap­ply for fin­an­cial aid.

Right now, 65,000 un­doc­u­mented stu­dents gradu­ate high school each year, but only about 54 per­cent of all un­doc­u­mented young people have a high school dip­loma, com­pared to 82 per­cent of those born in the United States. The Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment es­tim­ates that 5 to 10 per­cent of un­doc­u­mented high school gradu­ates en­roll in col­lege. A frac­tion gradu­ate.

“That’s tra­gic,” John King, who will be­come act­ing edu­ca­tion sec­ret­ary at the end of the year, told Next Amer­ica. “We’ve got to fix that.” He hopes that the guide will help stu­dents and clear up any “mis­con­cep­tions,” and en­cour­age teach­ers and coun­selors to edu­cate stu­dents and their fam­il­ies about DACA re­new­al and the col­lege ap­plic­a­tion pro­cess. Some school sys­tems, in­clud­ing the Hemp­stead Uni­on Free School Dis­trict, have been in­vest­ig­ated for fail­ing to ad­equately edu­cate un­doc­u­mented stu­dents.

Right now, only about 54 percent of undocumented young people have a high school diploma, compared to 82 percent of those born in the U.S.

While the guide lists private schol­ar­ships and states that give fin­an­cial aid to un­doc­u­mented stu­dents, im­mig­rant act­iv­ists have raised con­cerns that these stu­dents are not eli­gible to re­ceive fed­er­al fin­an­cial aid. A Lu­mina Found­a­tion re­port on the bar­ri­ers to high­er edu­ca­tion that un­doc­u­mented stu­dents face calls on the de­part­ment to waive the cit­izen­ship or per­man­ent res­id­ency re­quire­ment of Pell Grants through an Ex­per­i­ment­al Sites Ini­ti­at­ive. The na­tion’s High­er Edu­ca­tion Act al­lows the edu­ca­tion sec­ret­ary to waive some reg­u­la­tions to study their ef­fect­ive­ness, which Edu­ca­tion Sec­ret­ary Arne Duncan used re­cently to give some pris­on­ers ac­cess to Pell grants.

When asked wheth­er the de­part­ment will con­sider such ac­tion, King de­murred, say­ing, “We would love to see Con­gress move on this is­sue.” Pro­ponents of com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form have said they would like to see ac­cess to aid built in­to im­mig­ra­tion re­form, but the chances of a plan clear­ing Con­gress any­time soon are slim.

But Sarah Aude­lo, policy dir­ect­or for Gen­er­a­tion Pro­gress, the youth arm of the left-lean­ing Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress, thinks the guide comes at an im­port­ant time. As the pres­id­en­tial elec­tion ramps up, Aude­lo hears a lot of “hate-mon­ger­ing” to­ward im­mig­rants. Texas and Ari­zona are among states that have sought to roll back rights for un­doc­u­mented stu­dents in re­cent years. Like King, Aude­lo called on law­makers to do more to aid un­doc­u­mented stu­dents. The Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress put out a schol­ar­ship guide for un­doc­u­mented stu­dents. It is one of the most viewed pages, she said.

While this new guide is geared to­ward older stu­dents, the Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment will re­lease sim­il­ar guides fo­cused on ele­ment­ary and early-child­hood edu­ca­tion in the com­ing months.

For more information, go to:  www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

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