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FAQ on Immigration Status 

The Princeton Public School District is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all our students and families. We celebrate the diversity of cultures within our community and ensure equal access and opportunity for all. We are sharing the following information to help families understand more about immigration and its impact on our children.

Federal and state laws prohibit us from denying the enrollment of students in public schools on the basis of the youngsters’ or their parents’ immigration status. Accordingly, we do not require students to disclose or document their immigration status; we do not make inquiries of students or parents that may expose their undocumented status; nor do we engage in any practices that may hinder the right of access to our public schools. New Jersey also prohibits us from barring any student from public elementary and secondary schools on the basis of the children’s immigration or visa status.* 

The questions and answers below provide some guidance to assist families further with this topic. We will revise the information on this page as updates become available.

Q: Does the Princeton Public School District ask for a child’s immigration status when he or she enrolls?

A: No. All public school districts have an obligation to enroll students regardless of their immigration status and without discrimination on the basis of race, color,or national origin.

Q: What impact does undocumented immigration status have on my child’s education?

A: There is no impact. Children have a constitutional right to have equal access to education regardless of their immigration status or their parents’ status. State or federal legislatures can’t take that right away.

Q: Would the school district ever share our students’ immigration status with the federal immigration officials?

A: No. We do not ask for students’ citizenship or immigration status when they enroll. If we later became aware of a student’s immigration status, we would still not share that information. 

Q: Do we know whether there will be any immigration enforcement actions on school grounds? 

A: We believe that the federal government is still following guidance that designates schools as sensitive locations where immigration enforcement actions should not happen. In the unlikely event that federal officials arrive at one of our schools, school officials will instruct them to wait in a specific area and will not give them access to students, family members, or staff until school-district officials process the request through the district’s legal counsel to ensure that applicable policies and laws are followed.

Q: If I am a parent or guardian and I am worried about being detained while my child is at school, what should I do?

A: Please take this opportunity to update your emergency-contact information for your student. You can complete this online through Powerschool. Please contact your school's front office if you need assistance.

Q: What does the Princeton Public School District do to ensure that no student or family is discriminated against or harassed because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin?

A: Princeton Public Schools believes deeply in ensuring equity and respect for all.  Such a belief is one of our core values. We have policies in place that mandate against discrimination or harassment directed at our students, their families, or our employees on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin and many other protected classes. 

Q: What should I do if I feel like I have been the victim of discrimination or harassment?

A: Please report the behavior immediately to the school principal. We take these complaints very seriously in order to assure that our schools continue to be safe spaces.

Q: What if I am a DACA recipient?

A: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is based on an order by the president.  If you are a recipient of DACA, please consider reaching out to an immigration attorney to determine if you have access to a more permanent form of immigration status.

Q: What should I do if I want to understand my immigration rights?

A: Only immigration attorneys can provide you with accurate advice about immigration status and how you can pursue any legal rights you may have. For your own protection, please seek the advice of a licensed immigration attorney.

You can seek an immigration attorney from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (EnglishSpanish). You may also access this list of pro bono legal advisors in New Jersey.

*Enrollment requests of students on F-1 visas are addressed on a case by case basis

 

Resources

NJDOE’s Bureau of Bilingual/ESL Education Webpage Enrollment for Newcomers  

 [Adapted from Denver Public Schools Immigration FAQ.]