ATLANTA – Immigrant children and their families are flooding a school registration center in Georgia’s DeKalb County this week in hopes of signing up for the school year that started Monday.
School district officials are so overwhelmed, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, that they’re passing out numbers and asking many to come back later in the week.
Staff at the district’s International Welcome Center have the capacity to process about 60 students per day, and already registered about 300 immigrant children last week, but hundreds more remain on a waiting list to get in, the news site reports.
“We got here and there was a long line,” Sandra Nunez, who runs the Center, told the AJC Monday.
“Nearly two hundred families with immigrant children had lined up outside a school registration facility in DeKalb County Monday by the time officials arrived around 7:30 a.m., a reminder of the crowd that swamped the building Friday,” according to the news site.
“People camped outside the building from Thursday night to Friday morning, apparently because of a rumor that if they didn’t register by then their kids wouldn’t get into school this year. Nunez said facility workers heard that falsehood repeated by numerous families.”
School officials apparently are unsure if the surge in immigrant students is related to the massive influx of unaccompanied immigrants flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border, because they’re forbidden from inquiring about their citizenship, AJC reports.
“We don’t know their immigration status,” Nunez said.
Nunez contends that the proportion of immigrant students seeking to enroll in the district is typical. The county usually registers about 2,000 new immigrants a year, and were at about 1,300 earlier this week, school officials told the news site.
Numerous locals who posted comments to the AJC article (titled “More immigrant students swarm DeKalb’s school registration center”), however, believe the lines of immigrants forming outside the Center are directly related to the current border crisis, with many taking offense to tax dollars spent on students in the country illegally.
“The problem is not that the department can only process 60 immigrant children each day,” wrote Laurie1113. “The problem is WHY are so many of these kids flooding the school system, and WHY are tax payers having to foot the bill?”
Others blamed President Obama’s inaction in regards to the border crisis.
“You voted for CHANGE and now you got it. Now YOU CAN PAY FOR IT,” read a post by Hera. “Stop stealing my savings. I want to keep my money.”
“This will never end as long as this country is providing free education and free healthcare for illegal immigrants,” according to poster Chrisinatl. “This situation is only getting worse and will continue. They way this country is run truly makes me sick!!”
Some posters even took exception with how the AJC presented the situation and its reference to the border surge as a “humanitarian crisis.”
“Well, I bet 90% of out here in the real world recognize the connection of this ‘humanitarian crisis,’” Sticks posted. “The words used and not used in this article are a prime example of the liberal bias of our media. I do feel for these kids, but I also feel for those of us who are picking up the pieces and truly paying the price of this political disaster.”