Will Dallas ISD Parents Face an Immigration Showdown?

Will Dallas ISD Parents Face an Immigration Showdown?

In the coming days, some Dallas ISD parents may find it impossible to enroll their children in school. Parents who cannot present a valid birth certificate upon enrollment may have their children turned away after the 30-day deadline expires due to tighter policies imposed by Dallas County and the state.

These children could even land on a watch list for possibly being kidnapped or missing.

Birth certificates have been required for a long time, but for some parents obtaining them isn’t an easy task. Recently, the Texas Department of State Health Services decided that the matrícula, a Mexican consular ID card, is no longer going to be accepted as ID for parents trying to get their children’s birth certificates.

As a result, many undocumented parents with U.S.-born children will be unable to obtain birth certificates to enroll their U.S. citizen children in school.

Texas parents of 23 U.S.-born children are now suing the state over this policy; they argue that the policy violates their children’s constitutional rights.

In June, the Dallas County Clerk’s Office announced that it will no longer accept the matrícula for ID purposes when parents apply for their children’s birth certificates.

DISD Trustee Miguel Solis said it appears as if state officials are imposing this policy as a workaround way to disenfranchise people who don’t have the proper immigration documents.

The Dallas Morning News pointed out how a landmark 1982 Supreme Court ruling established that public school districts must allow children to enroll in school regardless of their immigration status.

Solis is concerned that DISD could be placed in a difficult position where it must deny some children’s enrollment to comply with the state’s policy while violating the children’s constitutional right to a public education.

According to Chris Van Deusen, the spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, the department has never accepted matrículas because they’re not secure and they could contribute to ID theft or fraud.

Van Deusen did acknowledge the issue raised by Solis. Van Deusen said that the state does issue a free “school certificate” that verifies the child’s date of birth and name for the purposes of school enrollment.

Immigration Assistance in Plano, Dallas & Fort Worth

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