Migrant students could be enrolled in DC public schools
He added that DCPS has a “strong welcome center” that will support migrant families who decide to enroll in the school system. The district has more than 49,000 students, about 15% of whom are English learners, according to data from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education.
Pentagon rejects local request for National Guard help for migrants
More than 7,000 migrants from countries including Venezuela and Nicaragua have arrived in the nation’s capital since April, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) began voluntarily sending them on buses to criticize the policies of Biden administration border enforcement. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (right) launched a similar initiative in May.
DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) says the buses, who arrive in the city unannounced, “are a politically motivated stunt”. Migrants, in many cases, have fled death threats or other dangers in their home country and are in the United States seeking asylum.
Local aid groups stepped in to welcome the new migrants and placed many of them in temporary shelters and hotels. This month, DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine, who is elected independently of the mayor and controls his office’s spending, announced a $150,000 grant program for nonprofits that help immigrants.
But many of these groups are under strain. Some migrants sleeping outside Union Station and in parking lots, Bowser called the situation a humanitarian crisis.
This week, the Ministry of Defense for the second time rejected its request for help from the National Guard to receive the influx of migrants. “We are fighting a broken immigration system in our country, and we know that cities alone cannot fix it,” she wrote about Twitter.
Immigrant families leave local public schools. Will they come back?
Mariel Vallano, a DC middle school English teacher who helps migrant families through a self-help network, said the children aren’t officially registered yet. Registration documents have been distributed to families, but none have been completed, she added.
Staff from the Language Acquisition Division for the School System plan to help families complete the paperwork on Thursday and will begin collecting the forms at that time.
Madhvi Bahl, an organizer with Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network and Sanctuary DMV, said it has been difficult so far to enroll students in the school. Migrants living in hotels do not receive the same services from the DC Department of Social Services as other homeless people in the city, Bahl added.
“It doesn’t give them case managers. It doesn’t give them any of the other things you would need to help them sign up,” Bahl said. Going forward, she added, the school district will need to help children adjust to classroom life. “One of the most important things is, of course, making sure they have access to language services.”
Ferebee said he’s confident the school system has the resources to help new migrant children settle into classrooms, including Spanish-speaking teachers and staff who can help families with needs such as than housing.