As the Prince William County Schools and the Board of County Supervisors continue to peddle the line that the “Unaccompanied Alien Children” program isn’t causing any “problems” for schools and other local government services, they’re resolutely refusing to release any information on the impacts this influx of juvenile illegal aliens to support their claims. They won’t tell you how many foreign nationals are becoming a burden on local taxpayers, they won’t tell you what it costs to educate and provide services for these foreign nationals, and they’re not at all telling you what services for legal residents and citizens we will have to forego because this increase of burdens on the taxpayers is happening precisely when the Commonwealth is trying to figure out how to plug an $830 million budget gap which almost certainly will cause a reduction in state aid to localities. There’s a cost here, and if government expects us to fund these costs taxpayers darned well deserve to know what those costs are.
Juvenile illegal aliens placed in the “Unaccompanied Alien Children” program ultimately are placed with “sponsors” who are required to enroll those children in local schools. While Youth For Tomorrow has raked in $ 8,488,726 so far this year to hold these juvenile illegal aliens for about 35 days on average, local taxpayers foot the bill to place these juveniles in local schools for the minimum two years it takes for immigration hearings to take place. Focusing the discussion on what happens during those 35 days while utterly ignoring the long-term costs is the deliberate smokescreen being used by state and local government to lull taxpayers with their “move on, nothing to see here” public relations campaign.
The federal “Office of Refugee Resettlement” has data regarding the burden it is placing on Virginia localities with the “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program,” data that was available to Prince William County but for some reason not provided to taxpayers when the Board of County Supervisors was at least feigning interest in this issue. Now that it is publicly available without the information filter of the county, we can see precisely what the impacts are for ourselves:
|2014 UAC release data from January 1st to July 31st
Source: HHS/ACF data “Unaccompanied Children
Released to Sponsors by County” retrieved 8/28/2014
|Prince William County||361|
Of note, this isn’t a full year’s data and as the weather cools in the area of our southern border the wave of illegal aliens unlawfully crossing the border, with the encouragement of the federal government, is once again going to spike. Are Prince William County schools prepared to take in another 700 high school aged “English Language Learners,” many of whom have never set foot in a classroom before and are illiterate in any language? Are they ready to prepare these kids for Standards of Learning tests they’ll have to take next spring?
But there’s no problem, we are told. Right.
While Prince William County is going to have some real challenges serving these illegal aliens with taxpayer dollars, it’s not the only locality that will suffer. The number of illegal aliens being “sponsored” annually in Fairfax county is greater than the capacity of an entire high school, and it’s not like Fairfax is going to be able to find school sites in that built-out county to accommodate such a break-neck pace of school construction. Manassas City is going to struggle mightily with taking in roughly 200 illegal alien children per year beyond their current growth rate as their schools struggle with declining test scores, leadership challenges and their own overcrowding issues that are driving double-digit tax hikes in that locality. The idea that Alexandria could easily start constructing new schools to accommodate the influx they’re experiencing is sadly laughable.
Taxpayers deserve some honest discussion from county officials about these issues, as the decisions being made now (largely to ignore the problem) will have significant and long-ranging financial impacts. Taxpayers deserve to know how much it will cost them to increase the services directed towards supporting illegal aliens and what services to citizens and legal immigrants must be reduced in this budget environment to offset those costs. If accommodating thousands of newly-arriving illegal aliens means laying off hundreds of police officers and firefighters, ending bus transportation in our school system, suspending services to the elderly or terminating transportation projects taxpayers deserve to know as early as possible in order to prepare for those changes.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
Leave a Reply