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US DOJ Reminds Alabama: Denying Education to Kids Is Unconstitutional

by Mahwish Khan on 11/02/2011 at 10:10am

Thomas PerezLast month, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez spoke about the impact of HB 56 at a Town Hall hosted by the NAACP. Among the many issues, he addressed the impact of HB 56 on education:

Specifically, Perez emphasized that the law limits a child’s right to an education, saying “one of the rights that exists in the United States — that was a right established and confirmed by the United States Supreme Court almost 30 years ago — is the right for every person who is present in the United States to attend public school.

Perez has continued the focus and the pressure. Yesterday, Perez wrote to Alabama school districts reminding them of their constitutional obligations:

The Justice Department sent a letter to school districts in Alabama on Tuesday reminding them that they can’t deny a child access to public education due to his or her immigration status.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez’s letter comes after he expressed concern that Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration law was keeping children out of school because their parents are scared about the impact of the law. A federal judge has blocked portions of the harsh anti-illegal immigration measure.

As Markos Moulitas wrote a post titled, Feds tell Alabama not to screw over kids, noting, “It should be self-evident, but not in Alabama.

The full text of the letter from Perez, via the Department of Justice, is after the break.

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