Last year, the center registered more than 800 students from more than 70 countries. Collectively, those students spoke more than 40 different native languages.
The district also noted families shouldn’t be concerned about registering their child based on their immigration status. The district referred to Plyler v. DOE, a U.S. Supreme Court decision which held that it is unconstitutional to deny free public education to children who are not legally admitted into the United States.
City immigrant populations have been on the rise since Mayor Michael Nutter’s signage of a a pair of executive orders, starting in 2009.
“All city services, including but not limited to the following listed services, shall be made available to all city of Philadelphia residents, consistent with applicable law, regardless of the person’s citizenship or legal immigration status,” read a portion of one order. “[Those services include] police and fire services; medical services, such as emergency medical services, general medical care at community health centers and immunization; testing and treatment with respect to communicable diseases; mental health services; children protective services and access to city facilities, such as libraries and recreation centers.”
That order also stipulated that law enforcement officials alone are allowed to question an individual’s immigration status, or those who work for a municipally–governed service or program. Nutter’s second immigrant executive oder, signed in 2014, ended the procedure of detaining individuals without a warrant on behalf of Immunization and Customs Enforcement.
“No person in the custody of the city who otherwise would be released from custody shall be detained pursuant an ICE civil immigration detainer request,” read a portion of the most recent executive order, “nor shall notice of his or her pending release be provided, unless such person is being released after conviction for a first or second degree felony involving violence and the detainer is supported by a judicial warrant.
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