Illegal Immigrant Children Enjoy Different Standard in Proof of Immunization, Florida Educator Says

By Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson
Reporter
Patricia Tolson is an award-winning political columnist and investigative reporter who has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo! U.S. News and The Tampa Free Press. Her focus is covering political events and developments throughout the southeastern United States, which may have an impact on the nation as a whole.
September 14, 2021 Updated: September 15, 2021

In the United States, schools must accept the children of illegal immigrants as students. But one mother and educator says the children of illegal immigrants enjoy a different standard regarding proof of immunization than those of U.S. citizens.

“Public schools must accept illegal students and not require the same registration paperwork for admission as we would a U.S. citizen,” the Florida educator explained, speaking to The Epoch Times under the condition of anonymity for fear that she would lose her job.

“Most troubling is many districts allow illegal students admission and services for up to 90 days before they are required to present records like proof of residency or immunization.”

The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also acknowledged the issue.

“The teacher’s concerns about illegal migration and unaccompanied minors in Florida are valid,” Christina Pushaw, press secretary for the Executive Office of DeSantis, told The Epoch Times. “The Biden administration has been an abject failure on immigration. In fact, mass illegal immigration is the administration’s policy, regardless of the damage it’s doing to our communities.”

The educator explained that, because they can’t deny registration of those students who provide no documentation, they’re referred to the public services. Because they have no immunization records, they’re also referred to the local health department of the area and given “three months to get their paperwork done and submitted.”

“However, no U.S. citizen can enroll their child without proof of immunization,” the educator said.

The Health Risks

“As Gov. DeSantis said last month, Biden campaigned on ‘shutting down the virus,’” Pushaw said. “But instead, he has ‘imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border.'”

DeSantis made the statement during an Aug. 4 press briefing.

“You have hundreds of thousands of people pouring across every month,” he said. “Not only are they letting them through, they’re then farming them out all across our communities across this country—putting them on planes, putting them on buses. Do you think they’re worried about COVID for that? Of course not.

“Who knows what new variants are out there? But I can tell you whatever variants are around the world, they’re coming across that southern border. And so, he’s not shutting down the virus, he’s helping to facilitate it in our country.”

The educator said the federal government and teachers unions know about the restrictions placed on U.S. citizens for school enrollment. Yet they continue to “ship” the growing number of illegal immigrants around the country, forcing school systems to take in the children and ignore the rules that are applied to U.S. children.

“Everyone’s hair is on fire that ‘the children’ of this country need to be immunized to attend any level of education, that they are mandated to wear masks to protect others,” the educator said. “Yet, the federal government is shipping these children everywhere, and we need to accept them immediately, regardless if they have COVID or haven’t been immunized for COVID or any other communicable disease.”

DeSantis has reached out to the administration of President Joe Biden regarding the settlement of illegal aliens in Florida, according to Pushaw.

“Two weeks ago, Governor DeSantis wrote to Secretary (Alejandro) Mayorkas, demanding that the Department of Human Resources immediately cease any further resettlement of illegal aliens in Florida and that the aliens instead be removed from the United States,” she said. “Floridians welcome responsible, lawful immigration that serves the interests of our state and the American people, but we cannot abide the lawlessness that the Biden administration is aiding and abetting on the southwest border.”

The educator stated that there are laws currently in place that could resolve the country’s immigration issues, were they to be enforced.

“Everyone frets about fixing our immigration system,” the educator said. “We actually have the laws, they are just not being implemented, enforced, or followed. We worry about the ‘costs’ associated with illegal aliens coming into our country. However, the total costs are never fully calculated because, again, the federal government diffuses these people around the country into every community. The costs are diffused amongst different budgets and line items.”

The Laws

“Once we are aware that these students do not have a permanent residence, any legal documentation, school records, etc., we cannot report them,” the educator said. “We can lose our jobs, be fined, and sued by notifying any law enforcement agency. We must provide a ‘safe zone’ from law enforcement enforcing the laws of our country.”

In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union provides educators with an outline of what U.S. schools are legally required to provide to illegal immigrant students, as well as what they can’t do to avoid civil rights violations.

As outlined by Public School Review, schools can’t: deny a student enrollment based on undocumented status; require different procedures to determine a student’s residency; engage in any activities that may discourage a student from enrolling; require students or their parents to document their immigration status; ask questions that may expose a student’s immigration status; or require a student’s Social Security number for enrollment purposes.

In the meantime, the National Association of Secondary School Principals provides illegal immigrants with a tip sheet to help them navigate public assistance programs.

“Florida’s state and local law enforcement agencies deserve full transparency on where illegal migrants are being resettled in our state, including unaccompanied minors,” Pushaw said. “The problem is that state and local law enforcement do not have the authority to deport illegal immigrants. Enforcing our immigration laws is the federal government’s duty, and the Biden administration has been shamefully derelict in this duty.”

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis stated that he’s “surprised that the federal government is not partnering with local law enforcement” to verify that the people crossing our borders are telling border agents the truth about their identities and destinations.

“Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, local law enforcement is never given specific information about individual illegal immigrants destined for their jurisdictions,” Nienhuis told The Epoch Times.

“I would think that they would want to verify that the person is actually living at his or her proposed destination. Why? Simply because if the information given by the illegal immigrant at the border is a lie, it would be a huge red flag to law enforcement that the person is a terrorist, a wanted fugitive from another country, or a member of an organized criminal enterprise. The sooner we know that the person was untruthful, the better.”

Different Standards

“Immunization records are required for all K–12 students in Florida, except in cases of individual medical exemptions,” Pushaw said. “Many years of real-world evidence shows us the required vaccines are very low risk to children and confer enormous benefits, protecting kids from diseases that have a much higher pediatric mortality rate than COVID-19.

“The immunization requirement isn’t just about the well-being of the school community, but the health and safety of migrant children. If the same immunization requirements are not applied to migrant students, that is emblematic of the hypocrisy of the left—they claim to care about the well-being of illegal immigrant families, but do not care whether unaccompanied minors are protected against serious diseases?

“Children aren’t responsible for crimes committed by their parents. However, it is a matter of common sense to enforce the same rules for all students, including unaccompanied minors.”

The educator stated that the effort to accommodate the children of illegal aliens has led to U.S. citizens being held to a higher standard than those who have entered the country illegally.

“I have students that I adore, and I know their status,” the educator shared. “We are such a compassionate country, and we bend over backward to provide for them. The only thing that really bothers me is, I know American parents can’t walk in the door and register their child for school without the proper documentation without being sent away. We’re holding American parents to these standards, but we’re not holding others to those same standards.

“Right now, our big buzz word is ‘equity.’ But at this point, we are beefing certain people up to such an extreme that we’re making it ‘unequitable’ to someone else. We’re taking away from Americans and not giving them the same chance. I don’t think that’s fair.

“We can lose our licensing. We can be fined. We can be civilly attacked. It’s horrible.”

Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson
Reporter
Patricia Tolson is an award-winning political columnist and investigative reporter who has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo! U.S. News and The Tampa Free Press. Her focus is covering political events and developments throughout the southeastern United States, which may have an impact on the nation as a whole.