U.S. schools warned not to deny students over immigration status

(Reuters) – The Obama administration on Thursday issued a stern warning to U.S. state and local school districts not to deny enrollment to undocumented immigrant children.

In a joint letter, the U.S. Education and Justice departments said they had become aware of student enrollment practices “that may chill or discourage” participation of students based on their or their parents’ “actual or perceived immigration status.”

“These practices contravene Federal law,” the letter said.

The letter, which updates 2011 guidelines, did not single out districts for criticism. However, practices at some of the nation’s districts have been targeted by immigration rights advocates in recent years.