Roy Exum: Our Illegal Catastrophe

  • Wednesday, August 10, 2016
  • Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I have gotten to the age when I get to wondering sometimes how crazy stuff works, like what really happened. During a school board meeting back in the spring, I remember Rhonda Thurman questioning why our public schools need so much more money every single year. Well, how does that work? The answer is very simple if we want to face it.

In Oklahoma City there are nearly 42,500 public school students (Chattanooga has a comparable 42,000) yet this summer the school district issued pink slips to 208 teachers and 92 administrators. Arts and sports teams are being cut. Absurd, you bet. This is because one in every three students is enrolled in the English Language Learners program at an annual cost of many millions, said to be more than four times the shortfall that axed 300 educators.

According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the state of Oklahoma was forced to accept 377 unaccompanied children (illegal aliens) in the fiscal year 2014. According to the OOR website, federal law requires that ORR feed, shelter, and provide medical care for unaccompanied children until it is able to release them to safe settings with sponsors (usually family members), while they await immigration proceedings. These sponsors live in many states.  In 2015 there were another 225 illegals dumped in Oklahoma and in 2016 there were 224 more. 

To educate some of the alien children is expected to cost Oklahoma City citizens about $10 million in costs they never anticipated. Note the Oklahoma City school district didn’t get every illegal child but the funding has most assuredly decimated the school budget. Firing teachers was the only answer.

According to the same report, the ORR revealed Tennessee had absorbed 1,294 illegal unaccompanied children in 2014, another 765 in 2015, and 987 in 2017. My point is this: if education costs for aliens is $10 million in OKC for some of the 826 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma, what do you reckon it will take for 3,046 illegal children in Tennessee? Or whatever share Hamilton County absorbs?

In the illegal alien game one side loses every time. When you add education, health care and government services our illegal residents cost Tennessee $285 million in 2007. A 2013 study – the latest I could find – was almost double: $547 million. At the time Tennessee spent $27 million on English instruction, more than the $22.7 million in health care. My goodness, in 2007 – nine years ago – our illegal immigrants’ prison tab was $5.7 million.

Please, I am hardly on some Trump-like stump about illegal immigration, I am merely trying to illustrate why suddenly there are 40 children in every classroom right now in Oklahoma City. By reducing staff and trying to keep tabs on 40 in a classroom, it is a recipe for disaster.

You want to know how I know? In 2011 a study in Indiana found that illegal aliens cost the state $110 million in education alone. Since 2014 when the Unaccompanied Alien Minors from Mexico and Central America assaulted our states, Indiana has allegedly spent $609,759,457 educating 55,986 English Second Language students.

As a result, the Indianapolis school district will operate at a $5.4 million shortfall this year, this provided by the Federation of Immigration Reform. As a tragic result, the state of Indiana just gave Indianapolis a ‘D grade’ after ‘F grades” between 2010 and 2013. (Sound familiar?) The percentage of Indianapolis students who passed Advanced Placement exams is a shocking 8.2 percent and you want to know how many seniors passed the state’s new “college-and-career ready standards” requirements in 2014-2015? As we languish in Chattanooga, try to get your arms around 29 percent in Indianapolis. (Again, does that sound familiar?)

In Montgomery County, Maryland (think Bethesda, Rockville Gaithersburg) they just hiked taxes 8.7 percent because “classrooms are crowded and we have teacher issues.” Kids who can’t speak English have risen from 15,931 in 2010 to 22,600 this year yet 27 percent of juniors and 30 percent of seniors are not “proficient.” Ironically, in Montgomery County only 40 percent of third graders were on grade level in math, and 53 percent in reading. That may be because only a third of English-as-second language students in the fifth grade were proficient and, while horrifying, that dropped to 21 percent by the eighth grade.

I am not against anybody but in Kansas last month the Sedqwick County Commissioners (county seat: Wichita) voted to ask the legislature to reverse  the decision that allows illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition at public universities and to amend benefits to illegals under the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Why? Nobody has the money!

One Sedgwick Commissioner, Richard Ranzau, was quoted, “I have to decide as a matter of public policy, should we force the taxpayers to subsidize unlawful behavior and, to me, that answer is no.” Another commissioner, Jim Howell added, “This is not within our powers to fix, so we are going to ask the state, formally, to take some positions.”

Illegal immigration now costs Kansas taxpayers $424 million each year.

In 2014 a Tennessee government employee noted where the ORR was quietly delivering the first load of 760 illegal immigrant children in Tennessee City and Governor Bill Haslam wanted to know where. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at the time illegal children’s privacy rights were more important that the public’s right to know.

Now, what prompted this sudden alarm from me?

In my morning email came a missive that was beyond my belief. While I had no earthly idea that in the past three years 118,929 unaccompanied illegal children have been very quietly dealt to our 50 states, or the consequences that this has on our national, state, and local school systems, more shocking to me was the revelation that in the same three years (between 2014 and 2016) our Department of Homeland Security has released over 86,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted as criminals in our courts back into society.

That’s right. Believe this, rather than properly deporting these trouble-makers, our Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), set them free. Records show the 86,000 illegals committed – gasp! – 231,000 chargeable crimes when they got to our land of milk and honey.

Records show that of the 36,007 released from jail in 2013, by September of 2014 a total of 5,700 committed further crimes following their release. How does that work for you?

But now you know the riddle behind what has put a severe stunt in public education and, brother, I don’t think the future looks real bright.

royexum@aol.com

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