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Justice Dept. Vows to Uphold Rights of Immigrant Children to Go to School

The Obama administration has issued updated guidelines to ensure that U.S. public schools carry out federal laws giving children of illegal immigrants the right to an education.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday the Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that laws denying children the right to go to school based on immigration status violate the fundamental conceptions of justice.

But Holder said he continues to hear troubling reports that some school districts take actions he says raise barriers to children of immigrants.

Holder says public schools have an obligation to enroll students regardless of immigration status, race, color or national origin. He says the Justice Department will vigilantly enforce laws to ensure that the schoolhouse door is open to all.

The updated guidelines include giving schools more flexibility when accepting documents from parents proving the children live close to the nearest public school.