You can’t send 10 – 14 million illegal immigrants home. Even if you could locate them, even if you had enough manpower to detain and deport them, I doubt our economy could take the blow. They are holding up the lowest rungs of the service sector in many parts of the country.
So we are going to educate their children. Those kids won’t just hide in the basement or attic. I have no clue how many of my students came here through the back door. (I actually could make a reasonably good guess, but I’m not asking and I’m not supposed to ask.) I expect a fair number will never return to their home country in any case.
What does this mean for education? It means we need effective bilingual programs that prepare these students to enter American society. Right now, programs are a hodgepodge of philosophies and agendas. California and Arizona dictate one year of bilingual education while Illinois will allow a student to go from kindergarten through high school in bilingual classes. What’s best? We need to figure that out.