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Department of Education plans this year to enroll 2,350 migrant children from Central America — with many more to come

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Youths hitch a ride atop a freight train in Oaxaca, Mexico, on their way to the US border, where they would join a flood of unaccompanied minors seeking to enter the country.

By Susan Edelman and Isabel VincentNovember 23, 2014 | 4:10am

New York has sent a warning to its schools: Expect more illegal immigrants.
The city Department of Education has told principals it plans this year to enroll 2,350 migrant children from Central America who crossed into the United States unaccompanied — with many more to come.
“It is expected that children will continue to arrive in large numbers in the coming years,” says a DOE memo to principals obtained by The Post.
The notice comes as the city rolls out a $50 million red carpet for 1,662 minors who crossed the border this summer to escape ­violence and gangs in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
In the “surge,” 5,000 of the 63,000 migrant kids caught trying to cross US borders — or who turned themselves in for refuge — have been released to relatives or other “sponsors” in New York state. Most live with other illegal immigrants.
In the city, Queens has received the highest number of unaccompanied children, 732, followed by Brooklyn (434), The Bronx (433), Manhattan (63) and Staten Island (less than 50), federal reports show.
The recent arrivals join an estimated 350,000 children of illegal immigrants already in New York state — about 12 percent of the public-school population.
The DOE refused to discuss the exact numbers of recently enrolled children, claiming it would violate student privacy. Officials ignored questions about the cost.
The city’s per-pupil spending in the 2012-2013 academic year averaged $20,749, which would bring the total for the migrant kids to $48.7 million.
But the costs could soar, because the youths — many of them victims of poverty and abuse — will need state-mandated English-language instruction, free or reduced-price lunch, and a range of other services, including psychological counseling, medical and dental.
– Devora Kaye, DOE spokesperson

“The DOE believes that every child has a right to a great education, and we are committed to providing children who have escaped violence with the academic foundation and access to services that they need to establish a path to long-term achievement,” said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye.
But parent leaders worry the ­influx will strain school budgets.
“Unless the mayor, governor or president announces that funds will be made available immediately, our already-struggling schools will have to provide more,” said Sam Pirozzolo, vice president of the New York City Parents Union.
“NYC public schools are already failing to meet the needs of the students they have — 70 percent cannot read, write and do math at grade level. How can they handle thousands of new students competing for the same services without things getting worse?”
Under US law, all children have a right to enroll in school and ­receive government services, ­regardless of immigration status.
On Long Island and upstate, several school districts have been accused of blocking enrollment of migrant youths by demanding a birth certificate, proof of residency and education records from their home countries.
DOE has instructed staff to register them without delay and follow up later on documentation.
“In the city, they don’t tend to give you a problem,” said Manhattan-based immigration lawyer John Cavallo.
DOE representatives even sit at a desk in Immigration Court downtown, where the migrant kids appear for hearings, to help them enroll in school and sign up for free health care.
In court, Melvin Bonilla, 17, said he traveled alone from Honduras on a “scary” journey to the United States four months ago. He lives with an uncle in Brooklyn but has skipped school.
– Sam Pirozzolo, NYC Parents Union vice president

Bonilla told Immigration Judge Virna Wright he finished sixth grade in Honduras and had not enrolled in a school here because his uncle wanted him to learn English first and was paying for lessons. Wright ­instructed him to register.
Children can stay in the country if they convince authorities that they faced harm or persecution in their native land. Judges may also grant “special immigrant juvenile” status to a child found abused, neglected or abandoned.
The migrant kids are not directly affected by President Obama’s executive orders last week to let 5 million illegal immigrants stay in the country. One order exempts from deportation the parents of permanent residents or anyone born in the United States. Another expands relief to “Dreamers” brought here illegally before age 16 — and before Jan. 1, 2010.
The orders place “recent arrivals” in the same priority for ­deportation as suspected terrorists and felons. The feds are processing the recent flood of ­migrant kids more quickly, Cavallo said.
“While others wait years for their hearings, the recent arrivals get scheduled within weeks or a few months at most,” he said. “The message is: You come now, you’re going to get arrested and deported right away.”
But Obama vowed to deport “criminals, not children,” and critics contend his actions will encourage more kids to flee to the United States to get amnesty.


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Staunch Obama critic and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has filed a lawsuit against the president for taking executive action on immigration.


Staunch Obama critic and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has filed a lawsuit against the president for taking executive action on immigration.

“I am not seeking to myself enforce the immigration laws as this is the province of the federal government,” Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” said in a statement, according to CBS News. “Rather, I am seeking to have the president and the other defendants obey the U.S. Constitution.”

If allowed to stand, the executive action would “severely strain our resources, both in manpower and financially,” the Maricopa County sheriff said in the statement.

The lawsuit was filed on Arpaio’s behalf by Larry Klayman, an attorney and founder of government watchdog group, Judicial Watch. It says the executive action and the 2012 DREAM Act commit “unconstitutional abuses of the president’s role in our nation’s constitutional architecture and exceed the powers of the president within the U.S. Constitution,” the Arizona Capital Times reported.

Arpaio and Klayman plan to use Obama’s own words against him, according to the Times.

“What we can do is then carve out the Dream Act folks, saying young people who’ve basically grown up here are Americans we should welcome,” the president said in a 2013 interview with Telemundo. “But if we start broadening that, then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option.”

“Instead of legislation first passing both houses of Congress and then being sent to the president under the ‘Presentment Clause’ for signature and implementation or veto, the president originates legislation by himself and then dares the Congress to disagree,” the lawsuit said. “The president cannot simply announce sweeping new rules and implement them by giving a speech.”

The lawsuit also names as defendants U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.

Politics: White House: OK, fine, we overstated ObamaCare enrollment

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Dan Calabrese

Real total of 6.7 million is below their own announced threshold for viability.

One of the Obama Administration’s major defenses of ObamaCare has been to claim that it’s hitting its target numbers in terms of enrollment. Granted, its target numbers are not very impressive when you consider ObamaCare was supposedly passed to address the “problem” of 43 million people without health insurance.

But no matter. They said they needed 7 million and they supposedly got more than 8 million, even though they had a tendency to count people who had only created a profile and hadn’t necessarily paid a premium.

Turns out now that even that was too generous an accounting. They overcounted the total by 400,000 people, thanks to a screw-up uncovered by Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The already-dwindled total of 7.1 million is now down to just 6.7 million, which means that after all the victory laps over supposedly surpassing their announced threshold for viability. . . they didn’t:

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell called the latest lapse “unacceptable.”

“The mistake we made is unacceptable,” Burwell said on Twitter. “I will be communicating that clearly throughout the (department.)”

Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said that the overcount involved about 400,000 people.

Those consumers have separate dental coverage in addition to a medical plan, and were double-counted by mistake, said Albright. They had purchased both the medical and dental plans through HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets created under the law.

Since you know the left will try to insist this is not that big a deal, let’s understand why that isn’t true. First, we have a simple matter of credibility here. If the number of enrollees is crucial to the viability of the law, and the administration can’t be trusted to count it or report it correctly, then how can any of us have confidence in their inevitable claims that “the law is working”?

But here’s a potentially bigger problem: Insurance companies determine premiums and their own costs in large part by looking at the size of the risk pool they’re insuring. In this context, the difference between 7.1 million and 6.7 million is very significant. Maybe the private insurers have a clearer picture than the White House of their own individual enrollment. But the fact remains that if you can’t count your enrollment accurately, you don’t even really know your own costs and you can’t determine premiums or budgets accurately.

For all the left’s criticisms of the insurance market – and I’ve got plenty of my own – how do they make the case that government can run this racket better when they can’t even count how many people they’ve signed up?

By the way, was this really an “error” as Burwell now claims? Or was it done intentionally, only to be discovered by Issa’s committee and then claimed as an error? We may never know, but given the inclinations of the Obama Administration – especially when it comes to their rationalizations for ObamaCare – I guess you can draw your own conclusions.

I’m certainly drawing mine.