America’s K-12 schools have been overwhelmed, abandoned in Biden’s out-of-control border crisis

On his first day in office, President Biden made it clear that he wanted amnesty for nearly 12 million undocumented migrants and that he would no longer pursue policies that prevented others from coming to America. It was a message heard around the world: under his administration, it was now OK to enter the United States illegally, ignore our laws, but still enjoy America’s benefits (including a public education)—all at the expense of the American taxpayer. Predictably, a border crisis ensued, and it has been raging for the past four years. U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates there have been nearly nine million encounters at the southern border since 2021.


Denver has seen an influx of 42,000 illegal migrants enter the city over the past several years, which has cost the city at least $120 million. Citing data from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the House Budget Committee estimates that the total net costs to the U.S. from the border crisis “is more than $150 billion a year, with the lion’s share of that going to educate children who are here illegally themselves or whose parents are here without authorization.” There’s no question about it—K-12 schools across America are overwhelmed.

According to a thorough review of documents retrieved through a public records request by grassroots group Parents Defending Education, schools in the communities most impacted by the border fallout are scrambling to keep up with the influx of migrant students. Teachers and staff feel the strain of time and resources needed to meet the demands of this rapidly changing demographic in classrooms.


Staff in Denver Public Schools (DPS) are also feeling the financial strain. Reports indicate DPS is in the red at least $20 million because of the border crisis. Organizations like the Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (DOIRA) are requesting to use school property to set up working spaces or migrant shelters needed to deal with the city’s migrant crisis. Cleveland I.S.D., located in rural Trinity County, Texas, just north of Houston, has seen its district’s student population grow from 4,000 in 2014 to over 11,000 in 2022, with estimated growth to approach 22,000 by 2026, the majority of which are foreign nationals. This has led to the construction of eight new schools (plus twelve more soon to be built) at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the El Paso Independent School District, the school system paid $145,000 to transfer federally mandated migrant education programs to local education services centers. In Wichita Unified School District, Scholastic quoted the school district $63,000 for books meant for migrant students. America is replete with examples like these. The border crisis has caused disruption in school budgets nationwide and diverted funds away from planned priorities.

Abandoning America’s schools and leaving them to deal with the fallout of the federal government’s failures is a disservice to everyone involved. It will undoubtedly diminish the quality of education for all students and will continue to burden teachers with no end or solution in sight.

This is a crisis that warrants more attention, which is why House Republicans will be holding a hearing this week to put an urgent spotlight on how President Biden’s border crisis has wreaked havoc on our nation’s schools.


Schools and students are still trying to catch up from the massive education loss suffered due to long-term school closures, and now the federal government is yet again adding more obstacles to their education. Students don’t deserve this. Parents don’t deserve this. Teachers don’t deserve this. It is well past time for President Biden to do his job, close our border, and restore order to our communities.


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