Position Statement - Services for Undocumented Children
The National PTA recognized that the United States began as a country of immigrants and that the resulting blend of cultures enriches our nation. The National PTA also believes that all children residing in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, have the right of access to a quality public education, adequate food and shelter, and basic health care services.
The National PTA supports the following statements:
Public schools should not be placed in the position of determining the legal status of immigrant children nor be required to enforce immigration laws. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is the federal agency with jurisdiction over federal immigration policy and should bear full responsibility for enforcing that policy.
It is in the national interest to ensure that all children, including undocumented children, have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become productive members of society. Access to a free public education is the most effective method of securing this opportunity, and should not be denied to any child.
National PTA supports the confidentiality of school records, including records that pertain to the immigration status of children. Unrestrained access to school records to determine such status can pose a threat of unintended consequences due to any materials in a student’s file that may be inaccurate.
The federal child nutrition programs, including school meals, offer all children-regardless of immigration status-an important benefit that fights hunger and enhances children’s physical, academic, and emotional growth.
Federal, state, and local entities have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of children by offering health care and other social services needed in their areas. Denying these services to children, regardless of their citizenship status, an endanger communities and create serious health and social concerns.