Public Schools also deny admissions and check on status when accepting students

Public Schools also deny admissions and check on status when accepting students: denials spread through outlying school districts, Korean Americans are affected
(translation from Korean article)

Korea Daily 9-20-07 A1
Reporter Nicole Chang

The number of public schools that refuse to admit undocumented students is on the increase.

According to a staff at LAUSD, recently schools belonging to districts in the outer regions of K-Town have been demanding proof of residency or passports to check the status of fresh of transfer students.

Certain districts have even extended the examination upon current students, who are asked to show proof of status in the beginning of each semester, and are denied admissions if they do not show said proof.

This has been shown more strongly in regions with strong anti-immigrant sentiments, and it's becoming inevitable `for the student to move to another district when they are found.

Mr. Jang (18) who was enrolled in an Irvine USD high school as an undocumented, moved to an LAUSD school, following the demand of his school to check his status.

Jang, who came to the U.S. several years ago on a tourist visa, and became undocumented as his visa expired, had been asked by the school repeated times by the school to show his documents in order to verify his visa before starting the new semester.

Mr Jang said "I even visited the school district office and argued with them, but the school said that there was nothing I could do once they found out about my status" and gave up the fight and move out of the district.

A Korean American teacher from a Los Angeles area high school said "during this semester, four parents called me asking about transfer options", because "they had been kicked out of their districts after the school questioned their status".

The problem is not limited to public schools only - last year, as UC colleges strengthened their applicant residency status verification process, certain cases of in-state tuition benefits were reported, raising alarm in the Korean American and immigrant communities (See Korea Daily July 25th page A1)

The State of California established in 2001 the AB540 Law, which allows undocumented students to pay tuition for California residents when they go to high school for three years and enroll in a public university.

Anike Tourse of CHIRLA said "according to federal law, children of undocumented students can also get public education for free" and emphasized "it is undocumented to verify and deny admissions based on immigration status."

Yongho Kim, IRP Coordinator of KRC said "there have been many questions from the community regarding their admissions denials to public schools" and added "there is a dire need to educate the community on the rights of undocumented students".

KRC and NAKASEC are reinitiating a postcard campaign targeted at Senator Feinste for the passage of the DREAM Act, which would pardon the status of undocumented students.

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