Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 4, 2011 – The Texas legislature has introduced proposals to restrict access to education for grade school and university education, but so far none of them have passed. It has been quite a contentious year of immigration reform proposals, but tuition equity laws still remain in place in the state.
“There are many benefits to making schooling accessible to citizens and immigrants,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “Better education makes for a better society and individuals who can contribute to the economy and culture in numerous ways.”
The National Immigration Law Center says states that uphold tuition equity have lower dropout rates, and gain social and economic benefits. Tuition equity allows students to attend school and apply for scholarships and financial aid no matter what their legal status is. Many students have lived all their life as an American. Their parents came to the United States for a better life and chance to find a better job.
“These students should not be penalized for the actions of their parents,” said Banerjee. “Students should be able to better themselves and find affordable ways to get higher education.”
Earlier in the year, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice reminded state and local schools nationwide that individuals have a right to public education, no matter what their immigration status is. Title IV states that students cannot be discriminated because of their color, national origin, or race. Title VI has the same provisions for students who receive financial assistance from federal institutions.
“Schools can only request information that proves a student lives in the school district and is of a certain age for enrollment,” said Banerjee. “Other than that, and schools can border on discrimination and be liable for breaching access to education.”
A longstanding Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), still stands today and states that all individuals have a right to public education and their immigration status is irrelevant to the process.
A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer that specializes in helping people become United States citizens. The law offices assist in visas and other legal immigration requirements as well. To learn more, visit http://www.visatous.com.
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139