"Southwestern schools root out illegal pupils"

From the CS Monitor:

From kindergartners to 12th-graders, these children routinely cross the US-Mexico border to attend Arizona schools. Some use fake documents. Others stay with US relatives. All pose as full-time US residents to obtain a better education than they would receive from Mexico's public schools.

Now, however, a growing number of school districts in the Southwest are cracking down on the presence of illegal immigrants in their classrooms as education budgets tighten.

The moves are touching off a deeper moral debate that underlies almost every issue dealing with illegal immigration: Is it better to help the immigrant children and thus improve their lives, or is their presence behind American desks robbing taxpayers - and schools - of much-needed money?

They aren't "immigrant children." They're citizens of another country. That country should take charge of educating its citizens, and not leech off our educational system.

While this might have the slight benefit of indoctrinating those children, it will also imprint in them the idea that America is a great big sucker.

And, there is another factor to consider in this debate. If the Mexican government can't educate its own citizens, perhaps those citizens will agitate for reform. Educating their citizens provides the Mexican elite with a safety valve and delays reform.

[Kelt Cooper, the superintendent of the Nogales Arizona Unified School District] estimates that up to 10 percent of his district's approximately 6,000 students may still live in Mexico. Each costs the district about $5,000 per year to educate, in what he calls "a fraud on the government and the taxpayers..."

To get a clearer picture of how many children cross the border, Arizona superintendent of public instruction Tom Horne has asked the state attorney general to investigate the scope of the problem. He says taxpayers deserve nothing less, especially since "state budgets are tight all over right now. People naturally feel uneasy if they feel their government is tolerating a scam without looking behind the surface."

In Chula Vista, parents increasingly complain that children from Tijuana add to crowded classrooms. In response, Chula Vista officials now require parents to provide proof of residency each year. While anger simmers, however, many Chula Vista residents are afraid to speak out, fearing they'll be labeled as racist. But when the San Diego Union Tribune highlighted the district in a recent story, the newspaper received a flood of e-mail supporting the crackdown...

Not all border community members want to keep Mexican children out. From her perch behind the counter at Andres Tienda general store in Nogales, Mercy Johansen watches youngsters pass by on their way to Arizona schools every day. The mother of two grown children, her heart goes out to them. "I think that all children should have the right to a good education, no matter where they live," says Ms. Johansen. "These kids are our future, on both sides of the border."

Ah, the good ol' "end the article with an idiot" trick. Perhaps Ms. Johansen should take her bleeding-heart-of-Sally-Struthers mindset one step further and sponsor one of those children.


My son attended a school in Sweetwater Union High School District. He is in 7th grade. Before registering him at his home school- Southwest Middle, I requested a transfer because the school in my zone is horrible. The test scores are low and I heard it is a poor scoring school. My request was denied because I was told all schools were filled. My son's binder was stolen from him on the 3rd week of school. All his notes and homework that he had was gone. He was stressed. I called the school for help. I had a conference with all his teachers. They said they will help him catch up. The counseler told me she would put him in AVID and that would help also. The next week came along. My son was still stressed and still not in an avid class. The same week was open house. I walked into his ART class. The instructor told us because of low funds, there will be no hands on art training.--No painting, drawing, etc... I asked where the funding goes.. The teacher told me it goes to the schools with better test scores. After that, I went into his Life Science class. Everyone had these cool wireless head sets on. I picked one up. I thought to myself, wow----finally, I might experience something new here. Maybe we will have an interesting science lecture. I was hoping that this would change my mood about this school. Then, all of a sudden I hear spanish through the head phones. A translater is standing outside with a wireless head set. And inside all, but two parents(including me) takes them off. Everyone spoke spanish. Then I thought to myself---the money for these head sets could have went toward art supplies. The next class starts and they hand out an annual report. It shows that they have 80% ESL classes, and like 6% special ed and etc....Where in the hell is all the money going??? ESL classes? Is ESL more important than helping the english speaking students progress in regular academic areas? I was angry. I also forgot to mention a letter from the school, that mentioned his school might have LEAD in the walls. (GOSH, someone help me get my son out of here) The next day I called the school and asked to take my son out. I wanted to transfer him out. They said I had to go to the District. The district said I had to go through the chain of command. First the Asst Principal and then the Principal. I tried and I called and made appointments. I finally went to the school. They said that I had to go to the registrar. MRS. BRAVO--Cant forget her name. A rude woman, who said that I cant take my son out without proof of him going to another school. Well, all schools are full and no one would help me get my son out of this school. So, how do I get him out. So, he was trapped. Then I found a home school. I registered him. They said it would take two weeks for registration paperwork to be processed. I sent my son for one more week of school . The last week I called the school and told them I was taking him out to take required assessments for his new school. They said he would be marked absent until I got proof of the new school. I finally got his proof. I disenrolled him from the school. Upon his disenrollent I recieved his progress report, which was all F's. Because he missed one week of school and some of his papers were missing from his binder..( the notes that were stolen. This was and still is hell.I feel my child was left behind. No one would listen and help me!! Is the no child left behind act for illegal non-resident students. I know the school system in Sweetwater is corrupt. I know that I could not get my son in another school because the schools are filled with non-resident kids. I also believe Sweetwater Union helps certain people get what they want. I think all these board members are corrupt. I think they will only help those that they feel for. Something has to be done!!!! I cant get my son into a different school. Now, I stay home and homeschool him.