Minnesota schools are overwhelmed by illegal immigrant students, but Democrats continue to obstruct solutions to the border crisis while demanding that ordinary Minnesotans absorb the negative consequences.
Recent reporting in the Washington Post brought national attention to the story of Worthington, Minn. (“As immigrant kids fill Worthington’s schools; bus driver leads the backlash,” Sept. 23.) Worthington is a small town of fewer than 15,000 residents, perhaps unknown to many Minnesotans, but its experience with illegal immigration is common to many towns across the country.
Worthington has taken in more unaccompanied minors per capita than just about anywhere else in the United States over the past several years. Contrary to what Democrats would have you believe, the arrival of illegal immigrants has ripped at the social fabric that held Worthington together for generations.
Today, Worthington is in the midst of a political dogfight, with its residents sharply divided over the influx of unaccompanied minors.
Like other Minnesota towns tasked with housing unaccompanied minors, Worthington has experienced a significant strain on its school system, with illegal immigrant children placed in the community expanding the student population by nearly one-third. The influx of students who cannot speak English, and who are often functionally illiterate, has drastically affected the quality of education and overwhelmed the resources of Worthington High School, which has been forced to convert storage spaces into classrooms.
As the Washington Post story makes clear, few of the unaccompanied minors now residing in Worthington attended school before they left their home countries, and many suffered significant trauma on their journey from Central America, from coyotes to human traffickers. Now, they take classes with American-born students, and are expected to participate with little grasp of the English language.
Liberals routinely downplay the costs of illegal immigration, but there’s no way to avoid an eventual reckoning. Worthington has already held five referendums on whether to raise taxes to fund additional public school space, as schools now operate beyond capacity thanks to the flood of unaccompanied minors. All five have failed, but the left will not take “no” for an answer: A sixth referendum is scheduled in November.
The local residents who express their concerns about this predicament that has negatively impacted their community are slandered as racists, yet they just want to ensure that their children enjoy a quality public education without having to pay even higher property taxes than they do already. Lacking reasonable responses to their opponents’ arguments, Democrats resort to the politics of personal destruction. The results have been disastrous, sparking an ideological civil war in Worthington.
Worthington residents aren’t the only ones grappling with this problem, though — virtually all Americans, directly or indirectly, subsidize the public costs of illegal immigration. A recent Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) report estimates that the 14.3 million illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. cost taxpayers a whopping $130 billion annually.
As the Worthington example demonstrates, illegal immigrants drastically add to the costs of education. There are other costs, too. Elsewhere, cities have seen public services such as healthcare strained to the limit when waves of illegal immigrants arrive.
President Donald Trump has worked tirelessly to fight the scourge of illegal immigration on behalf of towns such as Worthington. Democrats, who widely acknowledged the challenges illegal immigration pose to American communities until recently, now openly advocate for open borders policies that will only exacerbate the problem.
Minnesotans know from direct experience that open borders lead to significant social disruption and severely strain local resources. Nonetheless, the Democrats continue to side with illegal immigrants over American citizens.
They’ll pay the price on election night 2020. Given the choice between open borders zealotry and protecting our communities from the burdens of illegal immigration, Minnesotans will stand with President DonaldTrump and cast their votes to “keep America great.”
Michele Bachmann represented Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House, 2005-2017.