Illegal Questions Posed To Students According To ACLU Survey

September 3, 2008

Illegal Questions Posed To Students According To ACLU Survey

The Star-Ledger reported that the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU) conducted a statewide survey and discovered that at least one-fifth of New Jersey public school districts ask students information concerning their immigration status as the students register for school. Specifically, the ACLU surveyed 516 of New Jersey’s 635 public school districts and found that 139 requested Social Security or immigration information of student-applicants and another 48 school districts “suggested” applicants provide this information as a prerequisite to enrollment.

Information concerning a student’s immigration status potentially gives the school the opportunity to deny enrollment to a student and to discriminate against the student. State and federal law prevents schools from asking students about Social Security numbers or immigration status.

In response to the survey, the ACLU has taken action by contacting the offending school districts and the New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner requesting that the law be applied more aggressively. While the law is clear, it may take time for school districts to adhere to the federal and state law requirements.

We will provide additional information on this news topic as it becomes available.