Connecticut should welcome immigrants, Governor Lamont and the politically correct crowd at the state Capitol say, failing to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants even as the state has ever-larger numbers of the latter.
So it might have been fun if the governor and his P.C. posse had attended the November 26 meeting of Norwalk’s city council, which was well-reported by the city’s newspaper, The Hour, with video posted on the internet by city government.
Superintendent Steven Adamowski explained the school system’s need for an emergency appropriation of $1.4 million to accommodate about 370 students who came to the city unexpectedly in recent weeks, most of them illegal immigrants from Central America.
Many, the superintendent said, had been released by immigration authorities after spending 60 days in detention centers and now live with relatives or friends in Norwalk awaiting adjudication of their cases.
Most of these new students, the superintendent said, don’t speak English and many have had little education, so they will be expensive to teach. Because so many Norwalk students already don’t speak English well, with a quarter or more of students in some city schools lacking English proficiency, the new students will distract teachers from their other students, the superintendent said. Most city students, he added, were already “high needs,” requiring extra attention, and now the city may have to build another school.
The superintendent noted that exclusive zoning in Fairfield County’s suburbs confines most immigrant students to housing in Norwalk, Bridgeport, and Stamford.
This “extreme economic segregation,” the superintendent said, lets the suburbs avoid the financial burden.
After approving the emergency $1.4 million for the schools, the Norwalk council approved an emergency appropriation of $400,000 for the city’s social services department, which faces extra work with the immigrant students and the families they’re staying with.
So when they are done striking righteous poses, the governor and his P.C. posse might be obliged to answer a few questions.
Will state government reimburse Norwalk for its sudden extra expenses arising from illegal immigration? If so, where in the state budget will the money come from?
Will the state require Fairfield County’s suburbs to hasten construction of low-income housing to share the burden of illegal immigration? With the state’s economy declining amid ever-increasing taxes, just how much more illegal immigration should Connecticut welcome, and what is the cost of the illegal immigration the P.C. crowd has already cheered?
Millions more Central Americans are available, so the potential for more P.C. posturing is virtually infinite even if the money for their education and social services isn’t.
But instead of addressing those questions, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz is leading state government’s campaign to increase compliance with the next federal census.
Bysiewicz and other Democrats are worried that the Trump administration’s sometimes demagogic hostility to illegal immigrants will scare them out of participating in the census, though federal grants to states are calculated by total population, both legal and illegal residents.
But there’s a bigger reason Democrats want illegal immigrants well counted: congressional district reapportionment. While illegals are not supposed to vote, they are counted for congressional representation and they settle overwhelmingly in Democratic urban areas. So the more illegal immigrants, the more Democratic districts.
Nothing is more politically correct than that.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.