Can Immigrant Kids Go to Public School?

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Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.

Today’s question comes from Nathaniel. Nathaniel writes from Texas and says that he recently applied for asylum. He’s waiting for his fingerprints and his interview, which means his case is just getting started. He has a school-aged son who’s eligible to be in the first grade.

And Nathaniel’s worried. Is that going to keep him or get him in trouble when he applies for asylum for his interview or when he tries to get a Green Card? The answer to this question, miraculously, is no. Nathaniel, this will not cause any problems. Your son can go to school. The fact is that, if a child is in the United States, they have the right to a public education. And that’s true regardless of their immigration status.

So, our public schools serve the children of US citizens. They serve the children of lawful permanent residents. They serve the children of H-1B workers, of people here on nonimmigrant visas.

We’ve seen people come on a nonimmigrant visa and get married to a US citizen. They have no status. Their child has no status, but the child is still eligible for a free public education. This is even true for the children of undocumented immigrants or even undocumented children themselves. So, public schools can’t discriminate based on immigration status.

So, I hope Nathaniel, that helps clear things up for you. Send your child to school. Get him the best education he can. Help him live the American dream. Hopefully your asylum case goes well, that you receive asylum, and that you’re on your path to citizenship. We wish you all the best, Nathaniel, in these dark days.

Hopefully, in the asylum world, things are going to open back up. And as mean and as hateful as we’ve been to immigrants, I was happy to be able to answer this question yes, that it’s okay for your son to go to school, because that’s how it should be. We should be taking care of the people in our country, no matter their immigration status.

So, if you have questions about this, give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Also wanted to let you know that we are going live in Facebook and in YouTube and in Immigrant Home every Tuesday and Thursday at noon Central. You can get on camera with me, ask me a question or two. It’s been fun so far. I’m looking forward to continuing it. If you have any questions, give us a call. Like I said, 314-961-8200. We’ll see you next time.