The Obama administration has released more than 37,000 illegal immigrant minors throughout the country and into the care of family members and sponsors this year.
The majority of the illegal immigrant minors are of school age and eligible to attend public schools. The Department of Education has stressed that students may be enrolled in public schools regardless of their immigration status.
Local school systems this year must now deal with the influx. A recent report from NPR which looked at the situation in Miami and the difficulties of coping with high volumes of new foreign students.
“Everybody, I am a teacher, we are students,” an instructor coaches in one of six new “English for Speakers of Other Languages” classes at Miami Jackson High School in NPR’s report titled “Miami Struggles To Embrace Unaccompanied Immigrants.”
“These kids have basically all been here within a couple of months. I think the ones that have been here the longest have been three months. We had one just entered a week ago,” Miami Jackson High School Principal Carlos Rios told NPR, which reported that most of the new students are from Central America and part of the recent crisis of unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally.
According to NPR the Miami-Dade school district has enrolled about 1,400 Central American youths — 800 more than the year before.
Rios told NPR that 170 of the minors from Central America are now in his school.
“Obviously the first week of school saw about 100 students come in, and it hasn’t stopped. And you see the office out there, there’s still parents coming in, there’s still students coming in,” he said.
A teacher described to NPR the wide range of education levels the school is seeing.
“Mostly level ones, no English. Some good background education where the language would be just the issue. And some with very little education where it’s a bigger battle,” she said.
An analysis released Tuesday from the Federation for American Immigration Reform revealed that the cost of educating this most recent influx of unaccompanied illegal immigrant migrants could top $761 million this school year.
“These kids will require special Limited English Proficient (LEP) classes conducted in Spanish, or in other languages indigenous to Central American, as well as other taxpayer funded services, such as free and reduced school meals. Once again the costs of federal government’s failed immigration policies are borne at the local level, and the nation’s public school system is where the costs are most visible,” FAIR explained.
Based on FAIR’s analysis Florida, home to more than 3,800 unaccompanied minors, could see the cost of educating those of school age to be $56,773,589.