The authors of the report do not consider the effect it’s having on American education, but an influx of poor uneducated non-English speaking immigrant children is surely not improving anyone’s academic prospects.
When we were discussing the gang rape of a fourteen year old in Rockville High School we raised the question of what happens to a child’s education when too many classmates do not speak English. How much learning can take place? How much classroom time is consumed by the need to discipline children who do not understand what is being said?
Steven Camerota has analyzed the statistics. He has discovered that the number of immigrant children has exploded over the past years. Surely this poses a problem.
He writes in the Daily Signal:
We find that nationally, nearly one in four students in public schools is now from an immigrant household (legal or illegal). The number of children from immigrant households in schools is now so high in some areas that it raises profound questions about assimilation.
What’s more, immigration has added enormously to the number of students who are in poverty or speak a foreign language.
All of this has occurred with little debate over the capacity of our schools to educate and integrate these students into our culture.
As recently as 1980, just seven percent of public school students were from immigrant households, compared to 23 percent today.
High-immigration states have seen even more dramatic increases: eight percent to 35 percent in Nevada, 11 percent to 34 percent in New Jersey, and 10 percent to 31 percent in Texas. Even in states that are not traditional immigrant destinations, such as Minnesota, Alaska, and Kansas, one in seven students are now from an immigrant household.
How well will these children be able to assimilate? Not very well, if at all. The issue is statistical. The higher the concentration of immigrant children in one area the more likely the community will retain the customs and the language of the old country.
On the one side, it is something of a saving grace that immigrant children live together. This means that there are fewer places like Rockville where a third of the students do not speak English and where students speak over a dozen different languages. (One notes, in passing, that this cacophonous Tower of Babel fulfills the great multicultural wish.) And yet, if immigrant communities are more homogeneous their children are less likely to assimilate. We are not at the point that Europe has reached with Muslim no-go zones in major cities-- we are a much larger nation-- but still the problem is there.
Immigrant households are very concentrated: Just 700 of the nation’s 2,351 Public Use Micro Areas account for two-thirds of students from immigrant households, but only one-third of the total public school enrollment.
There are many Public Use Micro Areas in which the overwhelming majority of students are from immigrant households—for example, 93 percent of students in North Central Hialeah City, Florida are from immigrant households, as are 91 percent in the Jackson Heights and North Corona parts of New York City, 85 percent in the Westpark Tollway neighborhood of Houston, and 78 percent in Annandale, Virginia.
As for the use of English in the home, the numbers look like this:
Immigration has also added enormously to the population of students who speak a foreign language. In 2015, nearly one in five students in the country spoke a language other than English at home.
As the old saying goes: Houston, we have a problem! We all know that this problem will cause more and more parents to withdraw their children from the public schools. Otherwise they would be sacrificing their children to the gods of multiculturalism.