|Washington Post map; click on the image to enlarge it.|
Since 2013, more than 270,000 unaccompanied minors have been released to relatives across the U.S. to await immigration hearings. And though most of them end up in large cities, the ones who go to small towns have a disproportionate impact on local resources. School districts have had to scramble to hire more teachers who speak Spanish to accommodate such students. "Many unaccompanied minors live with unfamiliar relatives who offer little support. Teachers often fill the void, arriving early, staying late, even buying their students groceries," Miller reports.
"Five times in just over five years, the district has asked residents to approve an expansion of its schools to handle the surge in enrollment. Five times, the voters have refused — the last time by a margin of just 17 votes. A sixth referendum is scheduled for November," Miller reports. "The divide can be felt all over Worthington, where 'Minnesota nice' has devolved into 'Yes' and 'No' window signs, boycotts on businesses and next-door neighbors who no longer speak. A Catholic priest who praised immigrants was booed from the pews and has received death threats."
|Don Brink picks up students, some of whom are refugees.|
(Photo by Courtney Perry for The Washington Post)