LHSAA Lifts Ban on Immigrants Playing Prep Sports

Paul Steinbach Headshot

In a vote taken Friday at the Louisiana High School Athletics Association’s annual convention in Baton Rouge, member principals agreed to allow students to use either the Louisiana Student Secure ID or a special LHSAA-only number to register for teams, eliminating the requirement to produce a Social Security number and thus allowing some immigrant students to play high school sports.

According to The Hechinger Report, the association’s Rule 1.5.1 allowing only students with social security numbers to play had been in place for years. Since 1982, when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Plyler v. Doe, ordered the Tyler, Texas, school district to allow undocumented students to enroll, federal law has required public schools to educate all students, no matter their immigration status. But high school athletics associations are independent nonprofits, each with its own rules. Few states have explicit policies concerning undocumented student-athletes, but several allow students to play, whether they’re U.S. citizens or not. Before this week, Louisiana’s rule was one of the most restrictive, according to The Hechinger Report.

Opposition to Louisiana’s policy picked up steam after The Hechinger Report first wrote about it last November. Later that month, the ACLU of Louisiana and a Kenner, La.-based law firm demanded that the state overturn its policy or risk suit. New Orleans parent-advocacy group Our Voice Nuestra Voz mobilized, producing videos and petitions to challenge the rule.

Log in to view the full article
AB Show 2023 in Baltimore
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Nov 1-4, 2023
Learn More
AB Show 2023
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide