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Understanding immigration and the school system

Immigration laws can be a challenge for Charleston residents, as well as the rest of the country. Immigration reform has made national headlines nearly every week. However, there are certain immigration laws individuals should make sure to be aware of.

Many immigrants may be concerned about how current immigration laws will affect their family, particularly their children. Family immigration is very important to comprehend. Recently, the Justice Department and the Education Department had to send out guidance to schools informing them of their legal obligation to enroll all students, no matter what the immigration status of the child. In addition, the guidance specifies that schools cannot ask about a student's immigration status or require documentation such as a driver license.

Since 2011, the Education department has received 17 complaints from 14 schools, including one in South Carolina. In several of the cases, school officials have wrongly requested information such as the child's visa status or their date of entry into the United States.

Any immigrants who are struggling with family law issues should make sure they understand their legal options and rights. Illegal immigrants who have children may be living in fear that they could face deportation at any moment. There are options and ways for families to seek permanent resident in the U.S. There are employment visas, asylum visas or green cards that may be obtained by parents.

If individual is facing deportation proceedings, appeals need to be timely filed. Any family struggling with immigration issues should ensure their rights are protected at all times throughout the legal process.

Source: ABC News, "Correction: Schools-Immigration Status Story," May 9, 2014

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