While some of the “children” have been housed in federally funded facilities like the Catholic Maryville Academy from which two of the vulnerable youths escaped and went on a carjacking spree, here yesterday, others have been spread around the country in homes of “sponsors” some of whom are also in the country illegally.
Now the Washington Post reports that three deluged counties are financially strapped to educate them especially as most don’t speak English and a large number don’t even speak Spanish but tribal dialects instead.
Officials in three Northern Virginia counties are scrutinizing the costs of educating the nearly 2,000 unaccompanied immigrant children living there with an eye toward recouping expenses from the federal government for keeping the young migrants — who crossed the U.S. border without their parents — in local public schools.
The children, most of whom entered the country in a wave of unaccompanied minors from Central America, have been released to sponsors in various jurisdictions. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement says there are 1,775 such children in the three counties: 1,131 in Fairfax, 417 in Prince William and 227 in Loudoun.
The issue is filled with political tension, as the Obama administration has sought refuge for the immigrant children amid a long-standing debate about how best to secure the U.S. border and how to treat those who cross illegally. There has been special attention to children who enter the country unsupervised as there was an increase this year that has just begun to ebb.
With some of those children landing locally, the boards of supervisors in Fairfax and Loudoun have in recent weeks approved studying the cost of educating the minors. U.S. public school systems generally have a mandate to educate all children in their district regardless of their legal status.
Prince William Supervisor Peter Candland (R-Gainesville) posted an online petition this week asking the federal government to pay the per-pupil cost of educating refugee children who have enrolled in the county’s schools.
We wish them luck!
For all of our coverage of the ‘unaccompanied minors’ disaster, click here.