Your rights as an undocumented student:
We strive to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. As laws and policies change, we will update this page. The information below is NOT legal advice and is subject to change. Please contact an organization listed on our resource page if you need legal assistance or call the BPS Office of Equity at 617-635-9650 if you have questions about your rights. The information below is taken from the Superintendent's Circular AMT-8 / February 3, 2017.
- You have the right to a free public k-12 education, even if you are undocumented.
- If you meet the requirements for Boston residency (you live at a valid address in the City of Boston) and meet the age requirements (3-22 years of age) you CAN enroll in a BPS school, no matter what your immigration status is.
- BPS will NOT ask you or your family to provide information regarding immigration status when you enroll or register for school. However, you will be asked to provide information about where you were born, including city, state, and country of origin so that you can be given appropriate assistance if you are an English language learner and a decision can be made about whether you should take the English Language Arts section of the MCAS as a first-year student.
- BPS does NOT keep or record information regarding immigration status, even if they find out a student or family is undocumented.
- BPS is NOT required to report possible undocumented students to authorities such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Letter from Superintendent Tommy Chang Welcoming All Students
January 28, 2017
Dear Boston Public Schools Community,
We want all of our families and staff to know that we will continue to stand up for all of our students and families, regardless of their immigration status. We will welcome and teach every single student who enters our classrooms. Diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values as a school system and as a city. We are a “Culture of We,” and we are one BPS family.
We will work with families to help students remain focused on learning, both academically and emotionally, especially during these uncertain times. As Mayor Martin J. Walsh said yesterday, we will not retreat one inch from welcoming diverse, global communities into Boston because they make us stronger.
The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement is organizing “Know Your Rights” workshops for students and families. If you have any questions about resources for immigrant families, please call the Mayor’s 24-hour constituent services call center for non-emergencies at 311.
Thank you for your trust in us. We will continue to provide safe environments for learning, and we will do everything in Boston to protect our families. As educators, it is our responsibility to work for all of our students in Boston.
Tommy Chang, Ed.D.