The Obama administration will issue new guidance to K-12 public schools around the country on Thursday, emphasizing that school officials can no longer discourage undocumented immigrants from enrolling in their schools.
"Such actions and policies not only harm innocent children, they also markedly weaken our nation ... by leaving young people unprepared and ill-equipped to succeed and contribute to what is, in many cases, the only home they have ever known," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
Starting with Arizona's landmark 2010 law, the nation saw a wave of state and local laws cracking down on undocumented immigrants. Some of those laws required parents of children to provide additional documentation to their local schools establishing the immigration status of the child or the parents.
Federal officials say that violates both federal law and the 1982 Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe, which struck down a Texas law that allowed school districts to bar undocumented immigrants from public schools. In a letter co-authored by officials at the departments of Justice and Education, they said state and local school districts continue attempting to prevent undocumented immigrants from going to school.