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This photo, taken this month, shows a Border Patrol holding cell filled with migrant unaccompanied minors in Texas. (Photo: Center for Immigration Studies) This photo, taken this month, shows a Border Patrol holding cell filled with migrant unaccompanied minors in Texas. (Photo: Center for Immigration Studies)  

At Least 30,000 More Migrants Get U.S. Classroom Seats

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

American kids and teenagers will be sharing their already-crowded classrooms with tens of thousands of ill-educated Central American migrants this fall, because President Obama is distributing perhaps 100,000 Central American migrants across the country.

The Central American student “have very, very limited amounts of education [and] in some cases, they cannot count to 10,” said Caroline Woodason, assistant director for student support at the public schools in Dalton, Ga. “They can’t turn on a computer. They’ve never even seen a computer,” she told the Dalton Daily Citizen.

In Fairfax, Va., “teachers [are] dealing with children not just learning English but years below expected grade/achievement level,” education specialist Robin Hamby, told The Washington Post. In early 2014, her district already had 5,192 Central American students, up 22 percent since 2011.

In Lynn, Mass., the foreign youths “are not literate in any language,” said Catherine Latham, the superintendent of schools. “The school system is overwhelmed, our health department is overwhelmed,” she told Fox News in Boston.

“There’s no way a [foreign] child is going to be able to come to school ready and able to learn if we don’t address some of the other issues they’re facing,” such as an upbringing in a violent culture, Debra Duardo, executive director for human services for the huge Los Angeles Unified School District, told the Chicago Tribune.

The migrants cross the border illegally, so they’re not immigrants. They’re foreign students, and they’re arriving as U.S. students’ test scores are already stagnating in comparison with the rest of the world.

U.S. students are facing rising pressure from an increasingly high-tech economy, competition from students in Japan and China, plus eventual competition for jobs from unemployed Americans and the 1 million immigrants and 800,000 guest-workers who arrive each year.

The arrival of the American students’ new classmates was highlighted July 25 when Obama’s agencies announced he had already distributed 30,340 foreign youths and children by July 7.

Virginia received 2,234 foreign students and Maryland got 2,205, according to the announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services. Texas got 4,280 foreign students, North Carolina got 1,191, and New Jersey got 1,504, said the government statement.

Those numbers may double by October, however.