Federal Gov’t encourages undocumented children to attend school

LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The Federal Government is encouraging undocumented children in the United States, and right here in western Massachusetts, to go to school.

The Obama Administration says school districts around the country are wrongfully blocking undocumented children from getting an education.  Ludlow superintendent of Schools Todd Gazda told 22News that, in his district, school’s have never asked children to prove citizenship or permanent residency.

“We were worried about two things, and still are. We’re worried about custody. Does the parent have custody? And we’re worried about residency. Does the child live in town,” said Gazda.

Aside from those two factors, Gazda says he’s never asked parents to provide social security numbers or birth certificates, which under the new laws, would be a crime. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are 1.1 million undocumented children under the age of 18 living here in the United States.

In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to exclude students from free public education based on immigration status. However, despite that ruling, the Justice Department says certain state and local policies encourage excluding undocumented students.

“I think all children need to have access to education and I think it’s time they treated illegal immigrant children fairly,” said Gretchen Konrad of Holyoke.

Although some opposing the new rules say if you’re not a legal citizen in this country, you shouldn’t have access to its education system.  Law supporters say it’s unfair to blame children for their parents illegally coming into the country.

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