U-46 to issue guidance on immigration for schools, parents
Elgin Area School District U-46 officials will be issuing new guidelines for schools and parents in light of President Donald Trump's evolving immigration policies.
The state's second-largest school district is following in the footsteps of Chicago Public Schools, which earlier this week told principals not to let federal immigration authorities inside district buildings without a criminal warrant.
CPS also is urging principals to get alternate emergency contacts for students as a backup in case their parents are detained by immigration authorities.
"We are working on guidance to share with our schools that is consistent with our current practices with law enforcement," U-46 spokeswoman Mary Fergus said. "We discourage police from taking students for nonschool-related issues. We would not allow immigration officers without a warrant on school property."
U-46 CEO Tony Sanders in his weekly message clarified the district's policy on educating all students, irrespective of immigration status.
The district educates more than 40,000 students, the majority of them minorities.
Employees cannot inquire about the immigration status of a student or a family, per district policy.
"In 1982, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot deny access to a free public education for any student, regardless of immigration status (Plyler v. Doe). This is the law of the land and we affirm it in U-46," Sanders wrote.
The state board of education's registration guidance reiterates "the immigration status of the parent or child has no bearing on the rights of a student to enroll."
"The laws of Illinois and the United States guarantee all students, including undocumented immigrant students, access to a free public education through grade 12 until the age of 21, regardless of immigrant status," Sanders wrote.