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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says reporting undocumented students is a local decision

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Posted at 1:06 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 16:06:20-04

WASHINGTON (AP) - Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said that decisions on whether to report undocumented students to authorities rest with local communities.

DeVos was asked during a congressional hearing Tuesday whether teachers or principals should notify authorities that a student is undocumented.

"I think it's a school decision, a local community decision," she said.

DeVos added, "We have laws and we also are compassionate and I urge this body to do its job and address and clarify where there is confusion around this."

But Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaign at the American Civil Liberties Union, disputed that. Praeli said in a statement that a school taking such action would violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of education to every child.

"Let's be clear: Any school that reports a child to ICE would violate the Constitution," Praeli said, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "The Supreme Court has made clear that every child in America has a right to be a basic education, regardless of immigration status."