The problems are endless for Lynn. The schools are now overcrowded with 248 undocumented Guatemalan children who are not literate in any language and have no skills. This has forced the town to hire more staff and impacted state testing scores, causing the school to lose funding. According to Kennedy, her budget has increased 9.3 percent as a result.
The law states that if a child is attending school, he or she must be vaccinated. The undocumented children do not have health insurance, so who’s left to pick up the tab? Lynn’s taxpayers. And many students are claiming to be minors when they are really adults.
Before this happens to more towns across the country, Obama needs to work with Congress to modify existing laws that make it harder to deport immigrants from countries other than Mexico and Canada. Congress must immediately alter the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which states that unaccompanied minors who are caught by Border Patrol agents must be handed over to the Department of Health and Human Services, which coordinates care for them, finds them safe housing and helps advise them on their legal rights as their immigration cases are decided. Instead, Border Patrol agents should be able to make deportation decisions themselves, allowing for quicker deportation of any illegals back to their home countries.
The revolving door that has become the U.S. border must be made less porous. Instead of pouring taxpayer dollars into housing and transporting illegal immigrants around the country, we need to put National Guard troops along the border, allow drones to monitor illegal activity and hire enough border agents to truly patrol the border. The president must also meet with the Mexican government, which allows undocumented children to travel through the nation freely, knowing that they are heading for the U.S.
Securing the border is a federal responsibility that President Obama has failed to provide for the people of the U.S. This is just the beginning. If the president continues to sit back and do nothing, 52,000 will turn into 520,000.
Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.