ELIZABETH, NJ -- The Elizabeth Board of Education has issued the following statement at the monthly board meeting Feb.16.announcing the adoption of a resolution reaffirming the rights of children to a free public education regardless of whether they are legally admitted into the United States.

“We are a nation and city of immigrants and those immigrants have always enhanced and made better our communities and country,” said Board of Education President Stanley Neron. “Laws and regulations are clear on this issue. And Elizabeth schools will continue to treat all students in an equitable manner without regard to race, ethnicity, immigration status or national origin.”

The resolution reaffirms the district’s commitment to U.S. Supreme Court rulings, federal and state law and education regulations.

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Under those laws and regulations, public schools are not permitted to ask the immigration status of children or their parents. Additionally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official

policy issued in 2011 says the agency will not conduct enforcement activity at any sensitive location including schools.

The resolution sets a process that requires any  ICE requests be processed through the Superintendent of Schools Office to ensure compliance with the law.

School district attorneys said that no action can be taken against students except in rare cases of criminality and only with a federal court order.

The resolution was approved unanimously.