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Illegal Immigration in School Systems

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Jose Feliciano Velazquez

Mr. Clark Owen

English 1301.20F2

8 June 2015

Illegal Immigration in School Systems – Opposing Views Essay 1

A school is overcrowded when the number of students enrolled in the school is larger than the number of students the school was designed to accommodate (Ready, Lee, and Welner). One in five (20.3 per cent) [schools], 3,444 in total, are full or have more pupils than they are meant to cater for (Harris). More than 66,000 unaccompanied young immigrants crossed into the U.S. illegally in the past fiscal year, most entering through Texas' Rio Grande Valley (Hennessy-Fiske). Overcrowding in schools has been linked to illegal immigration and sparks a controversial debate. Some people believe that illegal immigration is a major contributor to school overcrowding, while others argue that illegal immigration isn’t that much of a problem.

Many people believe that illegal immigrants are eradicating and overcrowding schools. Among the states, California has the largest number of illegal immigrants with 2.7 million, nearly double the 1.4 million in Texas (Izumi). California’s illegal-immigrant population has swelled by 1.2 million since 1990, while Texas has added a million (Izumi). These illegal population swellings don’t come without a price. The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants costs the states $7.4 billion annually (Education degradation and school overcrowding - consequences of mass immigration). People argue that sending illegal immigrants to public schools is costly due to the enormous amount of illegal immigrations flowing into America. Agency officials estimate that it will pay districts $9,473 to educate each bilingual student this academic year (Hennessy-Fiske). That's $1,573 more than it paid for the typical student (Hennessy-Fiske). The cost of illegal immigration education is expected to rise due to overcrowding in American schools. The amount of illegal immigration isn’t going to disappear and actions are being enforced to make up for the influx. The city Department of Education has told principals it plans this year to enroll 2,350 migrant children from Central America who crossed into the United States unaccompanied — with many more to come (Edelmen & Vincent). Most borderline states see the most amount of illegal immigrants and have the most severe cases of school overcrowding. With more than 50,000 Unaccompanied Children (UACs) having been apprehended at the U.S. border since October, school districts across America are bracing for an unmanageable wave of these children flooding into their schools in upcoming weeks (Mass).

Others believe that illegal immigration’s effect on school overcrowding is exaggerated and invalid. They believe that illegal immigration isn’t the main cause of school overcrowding and fight for the rights of education for these illegal immigrants.  All children in the United States are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents' actual or perceived national origin, citizenship, or immigration status (Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States). This includes recently arrived unaccompanied children, who are in immigration proceedings while residing in local communities with a parent, family member, or other appropriate adult sponsor (Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States). Some people fear that states with more illegal immigrants won’t be able to come up with funding’s for the immigrants. But Texas Education Agency officials, who oversee the state's more than 1,200 school districts and charters, say they already budgeted to cover the extra students and can draw upon a state fund with a $263-million surplus if new costs arise (Hennessy-Fiske). The cost of educating illegal alien students can be counterweighed by the taxes paid by their parents. The 50-state analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released on Thursday found that roughly 8.1 million of 11.4 million undocumented immigrants who work paid more than $11.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012, even while they were living illegally in the country (Pianin).

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