Financial Impact of Illegal Immigrants on Nation’s Public Education System “Staggering”
Financial Impact of Illegal Immigrants on Nation’s Public Education System “Staggering”

By Judicial Watch

Nearly half a million illegal immigrant minors have entered the United States through the porous Mexican border since President Joe Biden took office in 2021 and the financial impact on the nation’s public education system is staggering, according to information disclosed at a recent congressional hearing conducted to address the unprecedented crisis.

“Educating illegal immigrant children requires substantial resources, altering the learning environment for all students,” said Florida Congressman Aaron Bean, who chairs a subcommittee on early childhood, elementary and secondary education for the House Education and Workforce Committee. “Overcrowded classrooms, the need for new facilities, and strained student-to-teacher ratios are just some of the challenges,” Bean added, offering that in just four states—California, New York, Texas, and Arizona—the cost of integrating illegal immigrant children into public schools reached nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in one fiscal year. “If we assume that every illegal immigrant child encountered by border patrol enters the school system, the cost nationwide would be over two billion dollars annually,” said the lawmaker who conducted the recent hearing, titled “The Consequences of Biden’s Border Chaos for K-12 Schools.”

Public schools are often the first to feel the impact of open border policies, according to testimony delivered at the hearing. That is partly because in 1982 the Supreme Court prohibited states from denying illegal immigrant children a public-school education. Since the ruling was issued, tens of millions of illegal aliens have entered the U.S. through the southern border with a substantial chunk enrolling in public schools across the country.

Some come with family and others come without a guardian, which the government classifies as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC). Besides providing them with a free taxpayer-funded education, Uncle Sam also spends billions of dollars annually to house, medically treat and entertain UAC. Last year the Biden administration quietly doled out tens of millions of dollars for the long-term foster care of UAC to further assist migrants under the age of 17, including pregnant and parenting teens and those who are especially vulnerable or with other special needs.

The impact on public education is just a snippet of the problem. Several examples were offered at the recent congressional hearing. In New York students were switched to online learning because nearly 2,000 illegal immigrants were sheltered in a school gymnasium. In Austin, Texas teachers had to conduct classes in hallways and conference rooms to accommodate over 400 newly enrolled illegal immigrant children. In Denver, Colorado an influx of over 40,000 illegal immigrants forced the state to spend an extra $24 million to cover the cost.

In Chicago the mayor says the city’s resources are “tapped out,” and a local teacher reveals that over 40% of students qualify for English learner services and the numbers keep growing. In Massachusetts public schools have absorbed 2,000 new illegal immigrant students, forcing districts to find emergency housing with little notice. In New Mexico there have been incidents of adult-age illegal immigrants hiding in a middle school to avoid apprehension from Border Patrol, which led to the arrest of six illegal immigrants and prompted temporary lockdowns.

Last year a congressional report that revealed the cost of illegal immigration is greater than the annual gross domestic product of 15 states disclosed that nearly four million illegal aliens attend public schools around that country and most receive special services for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) costing American taxpayers nearly $59 billion. New York City alone is spending around $440 million to educate about 11,500 illegal aliens who will likely remain in the system for years to come.

Laughably, at last week’s K-12 congressional hearing only one witness—from the National Council of La Raza—testified that the nation’s education system actually benefits from the influx of illegal immigrants. Her name is Amalia Chamorro, education policy director at the leftist nonprofit. “In our nation’s schools, immigrant students are a significant asset in their classrooms,” Chamorro testified. “They are known for their resilience, grit, and problem-solving skills, which are critical for 21st -century learning. In fact, research shows that immigrant students have such a high level of motivation to succeed and learn, they contribute to positive classroom environments that benefit all students.”

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