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New Data On The Cost Of Unaccompanied Alien Children

By Greg L | 28 August 2014 | Schools, Fairfax County, Illegal Aliens, Manassas City, Prince William County | 11 Comments

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
Locality Illegals Released
Alexandria City 205
Arlington County 133
Chesterfield County 104
Fairfax County 1,023
Harrisonburg City 65
Henrico County 50
Loudoun County 210
Manassas City 103
Norfolk City 58
Prince William County 361
Richmond City 112
Other Localities 432

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.

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  1. The Ghost of Steve Jobs said on 28 Aug 2014 at 11:58 am:
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    There was no way the county could definitively say there was no impact last week when school doesn’t even start until next week and one school I know of had two dozen students register just for a single grade Mon.-Wed. this week alone.

  2. Anon said on 28 Aug 2014 at 2:08 pm:
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    The invasion continues. . . aka, sold out by your government.

  3. Bill Gates said on 28 Aug 2014 at 3:42 pm:
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    Follow the money.


  4. Cynic said on 28 Aug 2014 at 4:09 pm:
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    Does this new data include the unaccompanied illegal children who are 35 years of age or older? Schools are not allowed to ask their age, but is it OK to ask if they are members of M-13 or other criminal entities?

    One benefit from having these older unaccompanied illegals added to the mix will be the rich culture diversity it will be bringing to our young student citizens. Could not ask for a better exposure experience.

  5. Kat said on 29 Aug 2014 at 3:21 pm:
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    My children go to school in Spotsylvania County, and over half of my youngest daughter’s kindergarten class are illegals. The teacher had to have a conversation in Spanish for at least 7 students. The standards are going down, so I think I will enroll my youngest in a private school.

  6. Horace said on 29 Aug 2014 at 7:51 pm:
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    Kat, neither you nor the school know the status of those kindergarten kids. I expect most were born in the good old US of A.

  7. rebnew said on 30 Aug 2014 at 7:09 pm:
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    This whole situation is so far beyond absurd that it should be an episode of the Twilight Zone!

  8. Cynic said on 3 Sep 2014 at 12:53 pm:
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    I accept your estimate that over half of your youngest daughter’s kindergarten class are illegals.

    Good to hear that you can afford to enroll your youngest child in a private school.

  9. Isophorone said on 7 Sep 2014 at 7:01 pm:
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    There is also a spike in gang activity in the past few months in Fairfax County.

  10. Cynic said on 8 Sep 2014 at 7:03 pm:
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    How many illegals were dumped in the areas where all these colds and respiratory illnesses are occurring - in the Midwest and other parts of the Country? Many of these impacted citizens had to be admitted to intensive care units.

  11. jane doe said on 9 Sep 2014 at 4:32 am:
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    The Muslim population appears to be growing as well in my classrooms.

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