Border Surge Inundates School Districts
By Joe Guzzardi
As worldwide migrants continue to pour across the Southwest border, the financial and emotional toll on communities directly affected mounts.
In El Paso, officials reported that, during September, up to 1,500 illegal immigrants, mostly Venezuelans but also Cubans and Central Americans, arrive daily. Providing for the migrants’ needs has overwhelmed El Paso. Unable to keep up, El Paso created its own Migrant Support Services Center and authorized staff to negotiate a $6.9 million contract with a Virginia-based nonprofit that will manage the facility.
Humanely caring for the migrants and accommodating the illegal border crossers will require El Paso to spend $300,000 daily, or nearly $10 million, in September alone. The fiscal outlay that El Paso makes on the migrants’ behalf means that funds normally allocated for police and fire departments as well as other social services that the city routinely makes available to its residents are nearly depleted.
In a letter to Mayor Oscar Leeser, city council members implored him to issue a Disaster Declaration to help keep El Paso’s residents and its newly arrived migrant population safe. The council members’ letter noted that the current inflow is “unsustainable” and “simply unfair to our community.” A disaster declaration shifts the responsibility for the aliens away from El Paso and to the state and federal governments. In the end, however, whether funds come from municipalities, Texas or the federal government, taxpayers are on the hook for the bulk of the migrants’ resettlement costs. The Federation for American Immigration Reform calculated that the migrants’ resettlement will cost taxpayers $20 billion annually in education, healthcare, welfare, justice and law enforcement. Including got-aways, an estimated 5 million migrants have illegally crossed the border since Biden took the White House. Many have been relocated, also at taxpayer expense, into the interior.
The border crisis, and its inevitable fallout, will soon become apparent to parents with school-age children. Because the 1982 Supreme Court Plyer v. Doe ruled that public schools are legally required to enroll students regardless of their immigration status, K-12 classrooms nationwide, and the many teachers responsible for educating the children, will be overwhelmed.
In April, at the Austin Independent School District, teachers protested the 400-plus student influx of Central American students at two high school campuses. The educators complained that they had to give their lessons in hallways and conference rooms. Keep in mind that many of those students don’t speak English and may not speak Spanish either. While Spanish is the most common language, ten other languages are spoken throughout Central America, including Mayan dialects. For teachers, effective communication can be difficult.
Austin’s frustrated teachers have plenty of company. Los Angeles County, Florida’s Miami-Dade County, Texas’ Harris County and New York enrolled 4,579, 2,306, 7,170 and 11,000 migrants, respectively. Teachers will have to brace for more students, many unfamiliar with classroom learning. A Health and Human Services report showed that through July, 107,742 unaccompanied minors were released into their sponsors’ custody. The report is understated since it includes only cities that relocated 50 or more UACs (unaccompanied alien children), and would also exclude migrants not placed with families. In all, over the last four years, an estimated 2 million non-English speaking students have been added to the nation’s public schools, a costly and burdensome obligation with which teachers, school officials, parents and communities must grapple.
In the months immediately ahead, more illegal immigration will lead to greater pressure on school districts. And more illegal immigration is absolutely on the way – some estimates project a 7 million total by the time Biden’s term ends. Under oath, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, a Biden appointee with three decades of dedicated law enforcement, testified that he believes illegal border crossings will increase at an exponential rate.
The reason for Ortiz’s grim forecast is that there are “no consequences” imposed by the Biden administration on illegal aliens who break U.S. immigration law. But for sovereign America, the short- and long-term consequences of unchecked illegal immigration are many and irreversible. School districts’ immigration-spawned predicament is one example from many which exposes the contempt that the Biden administration has for America and her citizens.
Joe Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who writes about immigration and related social issues. Joe joined Progressives for Immigration Reform in 2018 as an analyst after a 10-year career directing media relations for Californians for Population Stabilization, where he also was a Senior Writing Fellow. A native Californian, Joe now lives in Pennsylvania. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.