DC Suburb Reels from Immigrant Impact

dc_area_mapThe Washington Post on June 26 provided a revealing analysis of the impact of immigration on Fairfax County, Virginia – a suburb of the nation’s capital.

The emphasis of the article “In Fairfax County kindergarten classes, school system’s future comes into focus,” was on the impact on the school system. The overall student population has soared as has the needs of the students. More than one-third of kindergartners receive free or reduced price meals and about two-fifths require supplemental English instruction.

According to School Board Budget Chairman Ted Velkoff, “There is a cost to having these children in the system. . . . And I think the thing that is troubling is that the Fairfax County taxpayer has to take a disproportionate part of this bill.” That cost is in additional to that picked up at the federal and state level for the subsidized meals program and for Limited English Proficiency classes.

The article also notes similar trends in Maryland’s DC suburban counties (Montgomery and Prince George’s).

What does this demographic tsunami mean? The news account is fairly balanced even though the Washington Post’s bias is generally supportive of the comment from Fairfax County School Superintendent, Karen Garza: “We view these demographic shifts and our growing diversity as a strength that we will continue to celebrate.” 

Comment: What was lacking in the article was any connection to the current surge at the border in the illegal arrival of unaccompanied minors and those with their parents. The tens of thousands of additional children are being spread out across the country and will end up on the doorsteps of schools in Fairfax County and other already impacted school systems.

Also missing from the Post’s analysis was any discussion of the impact of the additional costs to the school budget at the same time that the profile of the county’s tax-paying residents is becoming increasingly composed of non-income tax-paying families either because they are working in the underground economy or because their earnings are so low they qualify for the IRS payout program of Earned Income Tax Credits and Additional Child Tax Credits.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar
    Mole Johnson on

    Maybe some of these people they have bussed in can work on Michelle’s veggie garden.

  2. avatar
    Mass Immigration Is Unsustainable on

    “We view these demographic shifts and our growing diversity as a strength that we will continue to celebrate.”

    LOL. And if a lot of these people aren’t even supposed to be in the country, so much the better! When a white person dies (or moves), is that something to celebrate because it just made a place marginally more “diverse”? What a bizarre attitude to have.

  3. avatar

    You blame the Republicans for Obama breaking so MANY of our country’s laws Arnloff? People are breaking into our homes, stealing our food, our houses, our jobs, and our veterans health care…and you blame the Republicans? Can you actually think Arnloff? Wait until you get TB, someone breaks into your very own house or rapes your daughter. Will it still be “somebody else’s” fault? Get real Arnloff. Obama is inviting illegals into our country by not enforcing our laws. Many of them are criminals. And how many terrorists are already here because of Obama’s criminal action? Let’s hope YOU don’t have to suffer too much when they attack us again.too

  4. avatar

    Send em all to DC or send them home. The GOP should cut ALL aid to every country dumping these people on America immediately. They need to cut the White House and any other budget. Do anything and everything to stop this invasion. So far almost crickets from the GOP while the Dems are pure evil.

  5. avatar

    I used to live in Northern VA and am very familiar with Fairfax County’s schools. For decades, the FF schools were the flagship of NoVA – among the best in the US and key to persuading businesses to locate in NoVA. They arose as the result of the expansive government hiring that began in the 60’s. They attracted a core of well-educated and skilled workers who wanted a good public school system for their children; and they lasted because people – even those who had no children in the public schools – saw the benefit of a great public schools system, if only for business reasons.

    I don’t see how this then well-deserved reputation for excellence can continue. What made the schools so great was that they were full of middle-class students whose parent took an interest in their schooling and whose neighbors were willing to finance them. Will these same neighbors still be willing to pay outrageously high taxes to finance schools that are no long top notch? I see no likelihood that they will for long. Also parents who can send their children to private school or who can live in the most expensive ares (Great Falls, Langley, McLean) will increasingly do so while those who can’t will leave Fairfax. Housing is cheaper farther out and traffic – already horrible – will get worse.

    I have wondered how long it would take for the massive immigration influx to lay waste to FF’s school system. Now, I think, we all know. The apartments that used to house mainly young singles now house families of low skilled, poorly educated immigrants. Alexandria has seen the same thing happen on its west end, where I used to live.

    If FF is no longer a great place for middle class parents to live and raise children, what will happen to housing there? I suspect we will see the same thing that happened in Prince William County – single-family houses turned into boarding houses and middle class residents fleeing while they still can sell.

  6. avatar

    The definition of circular reasoning, also known as begging the question, is “a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with.”

    Which perfectly describes this president’s argument on why he has to take executive actions. His claim is Congress won’t do anything so he “has to act”. But it’s only his contention that his ideas are what are correct or needed. A lot of Americans think we need to enforce the laws we already have. There is nothing in these proposed White House approved reforms that can’t be done now as far as enforcement. Except for the amnesty part. So it’s basically blackmail. Give me what I want and I might enforce the laws.

    You can go back and dig up all the quotes he has said in the past, or the press could, if they cared to, about how he could not act unilaterally and then did. Specifically on the Dream Act.

  7. avatar
    arnlof sweigeir on

    Another thing that was missing is that it is the GOP s fault for discriminating our President from day one to swear to ruin his president y at All costs..,…..now we see the results……

    Even though we have a tsunami at the border the GOP insists in doing nothing about reform…..u vet what u deserve…….kckckckckc

    • avatar
      Concerned Naturalized Citizen on

      The problem with immigration laws in the U.S. are that they are not, and have not been enforced for some time. That is the necessary reform and that is why we have millions of illegal immigrants in this country from all over the world.

      I doubt that most Americans have any idea of how people become citizens of this country. There is a process in place and there are different levels of status. There is a specific procedure to this. Step one is to enter legally.

      This is not a Republican problem… this is a national crises and most Democrats in the Senate are facing elections and don’t want anything to threaten their election chances. You see in these times, getting elected is more important than the safety of the country. Both sides of the aisle have been guilty. Besides, what does ‘immigration reform’ really mean specifically?

      Dumping on the Republicans is a waste of time. The President is not leading. He and he alone should mediate and work with the Congress, not threaten with a pen and phone.

      President must oversee the safety of the country. It might help our safety to know who is coming and going.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion but NOT to their facts.

      As Saul Bellow once said – “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep”

      There is a lot of illusion out there and uninformed people are leading this country down a sinkhole. If you really care then do your homework and find out how immigration actually works.

      Also, you might research what other countries require to immigrate to their countries. It’s a areal eye opener.

    • avatar

      This knucklehead with terrible English skills, “arnlof sweiger” is the worst kind of troll, stirring up the hate speech of ‘anyone who wants to enforce our current immigration laws is labeled a bigot’. I think you meant to be on the MSNBC of Huffington Post websites. Now go take a remedial English class.

    • avatar
      Snarky Republican on

      No one is discriminating against Mr. Obama. His incompetence has nothing to do with his race!

    • avatar
      Joel Wischkaemper on

      If there was a little bit of truth anywhere to this idea from arnlof sweigeir, he would have linked it. Obama openly bragged about being a radical president.. the first one, and some of the stuff he has put before Congress didn’t even pass the left wing of the Democratic Party. Soooo….
      BRING LINKS arnlof.

    • avatar

      You’re an idiot Arnlof… judging from your unintelligible English, you’re probably here illegally yourself!