The Los Angeles Times published an interesting news-feature today on students who walk from Mexico to Arizona every day to attend public schools there. Nicholas Riccardi writes:
Children who are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants but live in Mexico cross every morning to get a better education for free in Arizona, breaking the law that requires them to live within the boundaries of the district. To many of their parents, who have ties in both countries, not living in the district is the educational equivalent of jaywalking.
"I pay taxes. I work over here," said a 31-year-old corrections officer who would not give his name as he walked his son from Mexico to elementary school in San Luis. "What's the difference?"
There are no hard statistics on the number of children who break the residency requirement, but some people opposed to U.S. immigration policy have seized on the issue as another example of how they say migrants exploit the U.S. They contend that most school districts do not enforce the law because they risk losing state funding, which is based on the number of enrolled students.
"The whole thing's outrageous. We're not the school district for northern Mexico," said state Rep. Russell K. Pearce.