Miami public schools have enrolled nearly 4,000 Cuban students over the last six months and are looking to the federal government to send money to educate them before the next wave of illegal immigrants arrive.
According to the Miami Herald, the amount of money needed is "upwards of $40 million." Pew Research Center data shows "a 78 percent increase in the number of Cubans arriving in the country over the last year." From the report:
Local municipalities and social service agencies are in preparation mode as an estimated 8,000 Cubans stuck in Costa Rica begin to move towards Mexico. The assumption is that many will end up in the U.S., where Cubans enjoy special immigration status that eases the path to legal residency and citizenship.
It is noted that this is only the latest in several other calls for federal help. The Herald reports three Republicans in Miami that have solicited President Obama on three separate occasions to help them "deal with the increasing number of refugees."
Last summer, the city saw thousands pour in and show up on the doorsteps of schools expecting to get an education. But as is pointed out, these students need additional services, like English instruction and "psychological help."
One public school official said, “I just don’t feel that we need to panic at this time. We need to plan. With the appropriate funding, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
But the report makes it sound much more pressing:
Miami-Dade schools have enrolled 13,000 foreign-born students since July, putting the state’s largest school district on track to surpass last year’s numbers. [The superintendent] said the district could enroll more than 20,000 by the end of this school year, an increase of 5,000 from last year.
The $40 million request this year is way up from last year when the Miami-Dade school system asked the feds for $5.6 million to fund the education of illegal immigrant children.