Central American wave of unaccompanied children tests schools

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Public schools around the country are returning from summer break to face a challenge: integrating and paying for the influx of migrant children who have streamed across the Mexican border this year.

The children, mostly from Central America, are those who have been released to sponsors—usually parents or relatives—while they await immigration proceedings that could take years to complete. As a result, they are settling in communities throughout the U.S., from large metropolitan areas such as New York to small cities like Grand Island, Neb.

The numbers are substantial. More than 37,000 children who crossed the border unaccompanied by parents were placed with sponsors between Jan. 1 and July 31, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The states that received the most children were Texas, with 5,280; New York, 4,244; and California, 3,909.

Read more