Education Week 4/9/19: How Schools are Responding to Immigrant Children

How Schools Are Responding to Migrant Children

—Illustration by Matt Huynh

Tens of thousands of child migrants from Central America are in public schools. Many educators are working to support them, but the intensity of their needs can be a strain.

April 9, 2019
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As I have spent the last several weeks talking to educators about working with migrant children, some have cried.

Their tears, they say, come from a mix of worry, empathy, and frustration with the negative, sometimes hateful, rhetoric surrounding the unprecedented flow of immigrant families across the southern border.

Reporting on migrant children—tens of thousands have come from Central America in recent years—and how they are faring in public schools across the United States as they await their final fates in immigration proceedings is difficult. Lawyers and advocates assisting children and teens are fiercely protective. The kids themselves are often terrified of talking, and not just because they worry about being deported. And the educators teaching and supporting them do not track their numbers formally because federal law requires public schools to enroll and educate children regardless of their immigration status.

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