Blog: Latino Ed Beat

N.M. Schools Welcome Students Living in Mexico

Many school districts along the U.S.-Mexico border put forth great efforts to ensure that students live within their boundaries–on the American side of the border.

While it’s common for Mexican-American children living in Mexico to attend U.S. schools in border districts across California and Texas, they usually try to keep it a secret so they are not kicked out of school.

However, Public Radio International recently reported  on a town where that’s not the case. School officials in Deming, New Mexico, welcome with open arms U.S.-born who are living across the border in Palomas, Mexico. The district even sends school buses to the border to pick them up. About 400 children from Mexico attend Deming schools.

It appears that some educators believe the American-born children will one day choose to live in the United States, where they will contribute to the economy. But for the time being, many of their parents are not paying the taxes that support the public schools.

“If they are educated, they have the opportunity to give back to society, they can become hardworking taxpayers, they will be creating the jobs of the future,” Deming Superintendent Harvielee Moore told PRI.

School districts don’t ask students’ immigration status and undocumented immigrant children are granted the right to a free public education in the U.S., due to the 1982 Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court decision. In this case, however, the children are U.S. citizens but not residing in the country.

There are drawbacks to allowing the students in. One Tea Party activist pointed out that many of the marijuana seizures along the border are cases where children are used as mules to smuggle drugs in the U.S.