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Some claim student immigrants are pushed out by teaching staff

According to one school district's data, it costs $2,000 more in that district to educate a foreign emigrated student than one who is native to the United States. At an average cost of almost $10,000 per native-born student in the district, the added amount is thought by some to be quite burdensome. Staff in some of the nation's high schools outside North Carolina have been accused of threatening undocumented immigrants with deportation in an underlying effort to subtly encourage them to drop out of school.

In February 2013, a high school superintendent in another state issued a formal apology regarding an incident where foreign-born students were treated inappropriately by teaching staff. According to student testimony, teachers demanded to search the bags of all Latino students. Students further claimed that teachers issued threats of deportation toward the immigrant students. The superintendent apologized and admitted that no teacher has the power nor capacity to issue or carry out such a threat.

Data suggests that the nation's high schools include more than one million undocumented immigrant children among its student bodies. These students must remain in school in order to stay in the United States; however, it has been documented that 46 percent of those students who cross the borders at age 14 or beyond drop out of high school before achieving a diploma. Some say that part of the problem is that teaching staff is pressured to maintain high standardized test scores and graduation rates, and because they believe it is often cost-demanding and difficult to educate undocumented immigrants, they are incentivized to funnel those students out of the school system.

One article suggested that pushing undocumented immigrants out of school leaves them at risk for truancy, lack of earning potential and various criminal behaviors. Throughout the nation, including in North Carolina, there are legal professionals who are experienced in immigration and naturalization laws. Consulting one of these attorneys would probably be beneficial to any student or parents who believe that they are being treated unjustly with regard to receiving an education or seeking to attain a legitimized status in the United States.

Source:, "The School-to-Deportation Pipeline?", Christina Saenz-Alcantara, March 20, 2015

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