SEPTEMBER 15, 2009
The superintendent of a Texas public school district has deployed staff members to a nearby border crossing to intercept hundreds of Mexican children who enter the U.S. daily to receive a free public education at one of his schools.
For years, Mexican children from nearby Ciudad Acuna have crossed a bridge north to attend public schools in Del Rio Texas as administrators and immigration officials looked the other way. Meanwhile U.S. taxpayers pick up the nearly $3 million annual tab to educate the Mexican kids whose parents have no regard for the nation’s laws.
Finally, the new superintendent of the depleted district (Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District) is working to end the costly practice. He has sent district employees to monitor the border crossing that connects Del Rio with Mexico and inform Mexican parents that essentially the gravy train has come to an abrupt halt.
The district has an enrollment of 10,232 students in 12 schools and more than 500 are believed to live south of the border. They used fake U.S. addresses to enroll illegally, according to district officials, and some walk over the border bridge while others simply have their parents drive them in vehicles with Mexican license plates.
“I’ve seen van loads of kids with plates from Coahuila State (Mexico) pulling in front of the school,” Del Rio Superintendent Kelt Cooper told a major news organization. “Everyone knows what is going on. It’s real blatant.
Cooper decided to take action because immigration authorities recently submitted a report to the district revealing that about 540 school-age children cross the bridge every morning. Cooper dealt with a similar situation as the superintendant in the border town of Nogales Arizona where he once caught dozens of students who used the same vacant lot as a home address.
So far nearly 200 Del Rio students have been informed that they must prove residency to stay in school. In most cases parents were handed letters at the crossing bridge warning that their children will be expelled from school unless they immediately provide proof that they live in the United States.
There are an estimated 1.5 million school-aged illegal immigrants in the United States and the government spends an estimated $12 billion annually to educate them. The biggest chunks are spent by California ($7.7 billion) and Texas ($3.9 billion), where the situation has become a public education crisis with no end in sight. The Lone Star State’s public schools have seen a huge increase in illegal immigrant Hispanic students with dismal Mexican and Central American education histories that are contributing to an overall lowering of academic standards across the board.
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