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ACLU says mandatory photo ID is immigration discrimination

North Carolina readers of this blog who keep up with immigration issues may be interested to learn about a letter sent by the American Civil Liberties Union to schools in another state. The letter says that it is immigration discrimination for a school to require the parents of enrolling students to produce a photo ID. It claims the practice is preventing students from getting the education to which they are entitled by law.

According to the ACLU's letter, many schools require parents to produce a valid driver's license before his or her child can be enrolled. The practice directly prevents children from being able to attend class if their parents cannot obtain the required documentation. The requirements should be changed so that they are no longer in violation with state and federal law.

The letter also outlined what would happen if school districts did not change their policies. It said the ACLU would wait until the first week of May to allow the schools in question the time to make the requested policy change. After that time has passed, if the enrollment policies have not been updated, the ACLU may initiate legal action.

The New Jersey Department of Education also distributed a memo to schools. In it, officials reminded them that they were required to make free education available to all potential students from age 5 to 20. They stressed it was a state mandate that may not be ignored.

Officials from the schools that received the letters say they are reviewing their policies and will soon determine the best course of action. They say they do not want to practice immigration discrimination. Parents of many school age children in North Carolina will likely be watching to see how the issue is resolved and how it might apply to their own situation.

Source:, "ACLU to South Jersey schools: It's discrimination to require parents' photo ID", Don E. Woods, April 7, 2014

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