House Education Committee Earns a Failing Grade for Politicized Hearing

Rather spending their time and taxpayer dollars having a serious discussion of the impact that illegal immigration has on the American education system, the House Education and Labor Committee actually held a hearing about how the Trump administration has sought to “discourage or prevent” immigrant children from accessing education and health services to which they are entitled.

At the start of Wednesday’s hearing, which was titled “Growing Up in Fear: How the Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies Are Harming Children,” Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) insisted that immigration “is not the focus of this hearing, nor is it in the committee’s jurisdiction.”

 How is it possible that immigration wasn’t the focus of a discussion on how immigration policies affect the education of immigrant children? It’s not possible. But, in any case, the Democrat-majority’s end game was patently obvious the moment the first witness opened her mouth.

Gabriela Barajas-Gonzalez, an assistant professor of population health at the New York University School of Medicine, maintained that studies that she, and other researchers have conducted,  document “the negative impact of immigration enforcement activity and threat of activity on children and school communities.”

[Professor Barajas-Gonzalez then proceeded to assert “immigration-related rhetoric” preceding “the 2016 elections and subsequent immigration policy changes and enforcement practices” have resulted in “feelings of deep anxiety” for illegal and legal immigrant families. In plain English, the Trump administration’s efforts to uphold and enforce existing law and to secure America’s economy and national security hurt foreigners’ feelings.

. The hearing centered on immigrant’s feelings because Democrat’s are totally unable to demonstrate in any wayhow the Trump administration has, in Chairman Scott’s words, “sought to discourage or prevent” immigrant children from being educated or getting health care treatment.

As Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) noted in her opening statement, children “regardless of their or their parents’ immigration status, have access to free education and several federal programs,” including Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

Furthermore, every single state and school district in the nation is obligated,  pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe, to provide all children, regardless of their immigration status, access to public elementary and secondary schooling.

The proposition that the Trump administration is denying illegal alien children access to an education, or health care or food assistance is patently false. But  it is an indisputable fact that providing education, health care, and other benefits to illegal alien children and recently-arrived immigrant kids comes at a cost to all students.

According to data cited in questioning by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), an estimated that 9.6 percent of all students are considered Limited English Proficiency and helping those children learn English costs $59 billion every year.

“What percenage of that is paid for by the federal government?”, Byrne asked the witnesses.

“Just over 1 percent,” he responded to the witnesses’ silence. The rest, he continued, is picked up by the taxpayers of the state and local school districts which already are overburdened and underfunded.

If billions of dollars in local, state and federal tax funds weren’t being expended on foreign children, they could be spent on raising  teacher pay, fixing rotting public school infrastructure, or providing services to the 26 percent of American children who statistics show will witness or experience trauma by the age of four?

The same people who are paying the salaries of members of Congress are the ones paying for their failure to enforce immigration law. And Congress appears to be worried about everything except the children of the U.S. citizens who voted them into office.

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