The political establishment’s insatiable appetite for immigration is forcing hard-pressed American communities to divert funding from their own children to educate roughly 3.62 million foreign students, many of whom are teenagers and do not speak English, according to a new analysis by an immigration reform group.
“Public school districts across the United States are suffering under a massive unfunded mandate imposed by the federal government… to educate millions of illegal aliens, the school age children of illegal aliens, refugees and legal immigrant students,” says the report released Tuesday by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
“It currently costs public schools $59.8 billion [per year] to serve this burgeoning population,” the report states.
“The struggle to fund programs for students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), sometimes called English Language Learners (ELL), represents a major drain on school budgets. Yet due to political correctness, it is taboo to raise the issue even though resources are redirected away from American citizens to support programs like English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Second Language (ESL).”
Local school districts and taxpayers are being forced to fund foreigners’ education at the expense of their own children and communities. Illegal aliens, children of illegals, Third World refugees, legal immigrants, and the ongoing surge of “unaccompanied alien minors” from Central America impose severe costs on communities that struggle to accommodate them under the threat of lawsuits, particularly from the Obama administration.
Despite breaking many U.S. laws, illegal aliens are still entitled to U.S. taxpayer-funded educations for themselves and their children.
The surge of illegal aliens from Central America presents special problems for U.S. school districts required to turn every illegal immigrant dumped on their doorsteps into a star student. As an NBC report noted, “Some have never been to school or haven’t attended for years. Some aren’t literate in English or Spanish, and only speak Mayan languages, mostly Q’anjob’al.” Local taxpayers are being forced to pay for teachers to try to bring them up to Americans standards.
The rising costs and foreign-born students’ abilities provide a grim outlook:
- Nearly one in ten students enrolled in public schools is designated as Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
While the federal government provides eight percent of school funding, it provides only one percent of funding for LEP students; state and local taxes fund the mandated $59.2 billion program annually.
- According to FAIR’s estimate, there are approximately 3.62 million illegal alien students enrolled in public schools nationwide, costing taxpayers an average $12,128 each.
- Taxpayers are forced to shell out $1.7 billion annually to pay education costs for over 119,000 Central American illegal alien minors, whose record number of border crossings show no signs of slowing.
- Ninety-two percent of fourth-grade LEP students perform at Basic or Below Basic levels.
- Ninety-six percent of eighth-grade LEP students perform at Basic or Below Basic levels.
- Ninety-six percent of eighth-grade LEP students perform at Basic or Below Basic levels, with 76 percent performing at the Below Basic level.
- The number of LEP students from eighth to twelfth grade capable of performing Advanced work rounds to zero percent.
- The “abominable” LEP performance numbers have led to the creation of the Long Term English Language Learners (LTEL) category, which includes students “who have been enrolled in school for six or more years but are making scant progress learning English.” As many as half of all LEP students nationwide may fall into this category, the National Education Association estimates.
Illegal aliens from violent countries are also a danger to American communities and our schoolchildren.
Joshua Wilkerson would still be alive in Texas if the political establishment halted illegal immigration and did not offer taxpayer-funded education to illegal aliens. An illegal alien classmate tortured, strangled, and set him on fire on November 16, 2010 in what his mother described as “our family’s 9/11 terrorist attack by a foreign invader.”
“Instead of getting Joshua home that day from school, we got an autopsy report,” Laura Wilkerson testified before Congress last July.
This body is received in a grey body bag. There’s a tag on his toe that bears the name, Joshua Wilkerson. This is a white male weighing a hundred pounds. He is tied up with braided rope — 13 loops around his neck in a slipknot. It goes behind his back through his back belt loop. It goes to his hands and his feet, behind his body. He has multiple fractures in his face and nasal cavity. His throat and his voicebox are crushed.’ He was kicked so hard in the stomach that it sent his spleen into his spine, and sliced it in two… The medical examiner said it was torture.
“We had to hear this kid on the stand muttering about, ‘In my country…’ ‘In my country…’ never to finish that sentence. We listened to him tell us repeatedly that his ‘killing skills took over,’” she said.
FAIR recommends several steps that once taken would ease the burden on school districts and communities.
The U.S. must secure its borders, cap immigration at 300,000 annually, and end “sanctuary city” jurisdictions that protect illegal aliens and encourage more to break into the U.S. Eligibility for taxpayer-funded incentives that entice illegal immigrants to stay, such as drivers’ licenses, free lunch programs, and more should be reviewed. Federal work authorization program E-Verify should be implemented to stop employers from hiring illegal alien workers and relying on the American taxpayer-funded safety net to socialize the costs of cheap labor.
The 2008 Wilberforce Trafficking Act has also been “hijacked as an avenue to resettle [unaccompanied alien minors] in the United States,” the report states: “This act must be reformed in a manner that allows the United States to process UAMs and reunite them with their families and homes outside the U.S. in an expedited manner while simultaneously protecting victims of human trafficking.”
Overturning Plyler v. Doe (1982) will give taxpayers and states more control over where their tax dollars are spent.
“Since federal money only covers approximately one percent of education costs for LEP students, this [court] decision created one of the largest unfunded mandates ever enacted by the U.S. government. Free education is attractive to illegal aliens. Families with an illegal head of household already average a tax deficit of more than $14,000, so the entire cost of this mandate is shouldered by United States taxpayers,” says the report. FAIR recommends states require school districts to collect immigration information in order to show exactly how much illegal aliens strain finances.
Over 59 million immigrants entered the U.S. in the past five decades alone, with the foreign-born population standing at 45 million.
Demographics shifted after lawmakers scrapped the European-origin quota system; in 1965, America was around 84 percent European, four percent Hispanic and one percent Asian, whereas in 2015 whites sank dramatically to only 62 percent of the total population while Hispanics made up 18 percent, and Asians six percent.
Over half of all migrants who came to the U.S. after 1965 were Hispanic and one quarter were Asian. Nine out of ten migrants who arrived in the U.S. before 1965 came from Europe; currently, nine out of ten migrants hail from the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, or Africa.
Immigration, not American births, will account for 88 percent (roughly 103 million people) of the projected population increase over the next 50 years — if current policies are not changed. Unless current ahistorical, extreme levels of immigration are curbed, 78 million people of foreign origin will reside in the U.S., spelling out an uncertain future for American communities and U.S. education trends.