Where Are the Providence Children Coming From?

Via the RI Taxpayers daily newsletter, I see that Providence is defying the statewide trend of fewer students’ enrolling in public school.  Here’s Anni Shalvey, from WPRI:

In 2011, the Providence School District closed five schools in response to dwindling enrollment. Since then, an unexpected bump in students is bringing the classrooms to capacity.

“We’re looking at a shortage of seats in middle schools that was unanticipated,” said Christina O’Reilly of the Providence School District.

It’s not a huge bump – about a 1.7-percent increase in enrollment since the schools were closed, according to data from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

But this increase is contrary to the overall downward trend happening in Rhode Island – making Providence stand out.

So who’s coming and going in Providence schools?  According to October enrollment data, starting with the 2010-2011 school year, the cumulative increases (meaning each school year’s increase from 2010-11) by racial category was as shown in the following chart.



Providence schools have actually seen a decrease in students identifying as black, white, and Asian.  In just four years, the black population of Providence schools fell almost 10%.  That means the small bump in total enrollment was the result of an even larger increase in mixed-race, native American, and especially Hispanic students.

The next chart looks at the data by categories of services that the students receive. The acronyms stand for:

  • IEP = individualized education plan (i.e., some sort of specialized education or behavioral services)
  • FRL = free or reduced-price lunch eligibility
  • LEP = limited English proficiency



The biggest story, with this chart, is the increase in students requiring some accommodations for a lack of proficiency with English.  Such students increased from 14.3% of the student population to 21.8%.

Summed up, then, the small increase in Providence enrollment resulted from a rather large increase in Hispanic students who need help with English.  That is, the student body is likely to be transitioning toward immigrants from Central and South America.

It’s a little surprising, therefore, that the FRL numbers went down, because they are an indication of income, and one would expect  urban immigrants to skew toward lower-income groups.  However, more than 80% of students are eligible for the program, which means we’re mainly talking displacement.  There are also gradations of the program; poorer students get free lunch, while families with a little bit more income qualify only for reduced-price lunches, and this data doesn’t show whether there’s been a shift between those groups.

Arthur Christopher Schaper: Cicilline’s “Grand Theft Auto” Sanctuary City

Arthur Christopher Schaper asks illegal immigration expert Jessica Vaughn about the consequences of sanctuary city policies under former Providence Mayor David Cicilline.

Changing the Face of the Country for Votes

Speaking of borders and voting rights, Steven Hayward pulls together some stories on the immigration problem that Great Britain is having with thousands of “migrants” attempting to use the Chunnel tunnel to get from Paris to London in order to get free stuff from the welfare state.  Note this, in particular, from a 2010 Daily Telegraph article (hat tipped to Instapundit):

The release of a previously unseen document suggested that Labour’s migration policy over the past decade had been aimed not just at meeting the country’s economic needs, but also the Government’s “social objectives”.

The paper said migration would “enhance economic growth” and made clear that trying to halt or reverse it could be “economically damaging”. But it also stated that immigration had general “benefits” and that a new policy framework was needed to “maximise” the contribution of migration to the Government’s wider social aims. . .

Voting trends indicate that migrants and their descendants are much more likely to vote Labour.

Luring massive immigration to a country is a way for the government to elect itself another electorate, so to speak, and we have a right not to tolerate it.

Assessing Rhode Island’s ‘Sanctuary State’ Status Left to Suspicion, Anecdotes

An immigrant preparing to cross the United States’ southern border illegally who looked at the Center for Immigration Studies map of localities offering “sanctuary” might notice just two bright green markers for whole states that intentionally reduce their odds of being deported.  One is North Dakota, where the official unemployment rate has not been over 5 percent since 1987, but where the nation’s second-coldestaverage annual temperature is only slightly above freezing. The other is Rhode Island, which is not only more temperate, but provides some of the most generous public assistance packages in the country.

Soon after taking office in 2011, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee rescindedan executive order so that government entities would no longer be required to check job applicants for citizenship using the E-Verify program and state law enforcement and corrections officials would no longer work with federal immigration agents.  Soon after, through another executive action (by way of the Board of Governors for Higher Education), Rhode Island became the third state to extend discounted in-state tuition rates at its public colleges and university to illegal immigrants.

The topic of sanctuary cities, counties, and states has made national news, recently, after an illegal immigrant who had been detained and deported multiple times allegedly murdered a young woman at a popular San Francisco tourist location.  In Rhode Island, the effects of illegal immigration can be difficult to quantify, and evidence is often similarly anecdotal.

Continue reading on WatchDog.org.

Sum of All Fears; Sum of All Obama Policies

We tend to be nostalgic for the times of our youth, but one burden that I have been very happy not to see darken my children’s minds is the prospect of nuclear explosions.  Sure, as long as they exist (and they will, barring a complete global societal collapse) they will be conceivable, but with the end of the Cold War, there’s been a palpable decrease in the possibility.  Terrorists have striven to fill some of the void, but their capabilities are substantially less than those of modern nations and competing superpowers.

This period of relative tranquility may be nearing its end.  Here’s Investor’s Business Daily (via Instapundit):

In the latest edition of its propaganda rag, the Islamic State says it has enough cash to buy a nuclear weapon from Pakistan and smuggle it into the U.S. through Mexico. This is the sum of all fears, and it’s not overblown. …

Despite falling world oil prices that have slowed IS’ energy revenues to about $2 million a week, the terror group is still raking in more than $1 million a day in extortion and taxes alone. IS has also stolen some $500 million from state-owned banks in Iraq.

The incompetent poseur in the White House has made a hazardous mess of the planet, particularly the Middle East, where dangerous people took the measure of the president far better than American voters did, and they’ve taken full advantage of the historic opportunity.

Meanwhile, in order to tilt domestic political scales, Obama has widened the holes in the sieve that is our southern border.  As a draw, to pull people through that sieve, he and his fellow Democrats (with a compliant lack of resistance from Republicans) have proceeded to expand welfare offerings while adding tripwires to the obstacle course of political correctness.

When history’s most momentous events touch upon our daily lives, they tend to seem impossible until bad decisions make them inevitable.

Electing a New Electorate

In the popular imagination, political coups involve military action, long knives in the night, or some other form of violence, but the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party are arguably working to do the same thing by flooding the electorate with ineligible voters:

Non-citizens are voting in American elections, and the federal government refuses to do anything to stop it.

Worse, the current administration seems to be doing everything they can to prevent the states from trying to stop it. First, they sued states that asked people to present ID before voting. Now, the administration will not let states even ask people to establish they are citizens when they register to vote. …

… Noncitizens are offered the voter registration forms all over the country and are filling them out, and they are being added to the rollsregardless of which [citizenship] box they check.

Add it to the growing evidence of dawning fascism.

Terry Gorman: Sympathetic Providence Journal Article Encourages Illegal Immigration to Rhode Island

[Terry Gorman of RIILE sent the following e-mail to Providence Journal reporter Karen Lee Ziner in response to her front page article of Saturday. It has been lightly edited for style.]

Regarding your April 18 article in the Providence Journal, “Fight over Obama’s orders“, so much for “HIDING IN THE SHADOWS“. Two women here Illegally delivering 5 children that by current law are U S Citizens. Free pre-natal care, childbirth, post-partum care and long term family planning for two years (evidently not working) all at the expense of taxpayers. Just how much does this group cost US taxpayers and how is it justified in these lean times?

I think this article will only serve to ENCOURAGE many more pregnant illegal alien women to flock to Rhode Island. Why wouldn’t they come if they can arrive Illegally, have as many children as they wish, work Illegally or just not work, receive workers compensation, get free care for a child’s autism, receive subsidies for the new U S citizen children in the form of welfare, SNAP etc., now that it’s been basically ADVERTISED on the front page of a major newspaper? Thanks.

Illegal Immigrant Surge Not Showing Up for Required Court Dates, and Welfare Benefits (By the Way)

Gee, who could have seen this one coming?

The vast majority of the families and minors who where apprehended illegally entering the United States during the border surge of 2012-2014 have vanished to the interior of the U.S., according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies.

According to CIS extrapolations from data obtained by Houston’s KPRC, few of those undocumented immigrants are actually legally allowed to remain in the county, but 91 percent have ignored requirements to appear in immigration court.

Here’s another interesting tidbit that isn’t really a surprise if you were paying attention:

Using the numbers detailed in the report, Vaughan was able to determine that there were more families than unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S. illegally, even though the problem was often described as an influx of children. Also, she found that at least 92 percent of family units were released into the U.S. even after being apprehended.

There’s no direct link reported (yet), but somehow I can’t help but connect this story with another one, found via the RI Taxpayers‘ daily newsletter.  According to a recent report by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes, released by the Cato Institute, a few common welfare programs supply the equivalent of a pre-tax income of $43,330, equivalent to $20.83 per hour (if a person were actually foolish enough to work 52 40-hour workweeks to earn it).  Make note, please, that this number does not capture every benefit that’s available in Rhode Island.

According to the report’s Table 4, Rhode Island is number 4 in the country for giving more than the state’s median salary, through these programs.  The $43,330 in government assistance is 117.6% of the median salary of $36,858.

Call me crazy, but this doesn’t seem like a good formula for reviving Rhode Island’s economy.  I wonder if Governor-elect Gina Raimondo will turn this number around.  (Just kidding.)

Where the Jobs Go (What Jobs There Are)

Mark Krikorian points to a study by Steve Camarota and Karen Zeigler, of the Steve Camarota and Karen Zeigler, showing that all net employment growth since 2007 has gone to immigrants, nationwide.  Krikorian emphasizes that immigrants aren’t to blame for seeking opportunity, but policymakers are, for failing to match immigration to national economic needs.

A quick Monday morning search didn’t turn up sufficient data to repeat the research easily for Rhode Island, but a couple of sources give an indication that the story is much the same, here.  The table at the end of this Tennessee iteration of the report shows that Rhode Island’s labor force participation rate for U.S. natives fell from 80.1% in 2000 to 75.6% in 2014, a 5.6% drop, while the native employment rate fell from 76% to 68%, a 10.5% drop.

Historical data for all Rhode Island employment puts those rates at:

  • Participation: 66.7% to 65.1%, a drop of 2.4%
  • Employment: 64.0% to 60.0%, a drop of 6.3%

We’d have to know the percentage of native versus foreign-born people in Rhode Island to figure out the actual numbers.  Rhode Island’s terrible employment situation for the past seven years also makes the numbers a little more muddled than the national scene.  Be that as it may, it’s clear that foreign-born Rhode Island workers are making gains versus U.S. natives in Rhode Island — at least when it comes to having a job.  Otherwise, the native-born population would be doing as well as or better than the overall population.

It makes intuitive sense that Rhode Island would share the nation’s problems, and that they’d probably be worse, here.  After all, the economic policies pursued by the Obama Administration — including loose money and loose immigration — have fostered economic disparity, with the upper crust prospering and everybody else on the decline, including the working and middle classes.  Rhode Island’s ruling class likes to amplify all of the bad decisions made by its national counterparts, so we can be expected to be doing even worse.

Illegal Alien Juveniles: And Rhode Island’s Total Rises to 148

Breitbart’s Tony Lee has obtained updated numbers from the United States’ Office of Refugee Resettlement as to the number of illegal alien juveniles released by the federal government for the period of July 7 to July 31 – July 7 being the last date for which we had those figures. The state by state breakdown indicates that Rhode Island’s total has risen from 129 to 148.

Our elected officials – those who support illegal immigration – have been acting as though this has been a completely unforeseen, one time wave of children, such as might be due to an earthquake, flood or other natural disaster.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

These children are being drawn here – are being sent here, more accurately – by the willful actions and inaction of our national leaders: 1.) more generally, the United States has substantially reduced its enforcement of the immigration laws currently on the books and 2.) more specifically, the action of the President of the United States, who has effectively turned on a beacon by making it clear that his administration is extremely reluctant to deport any illegal children who come here. (You don’t suppose word will get out about the data that backs this up, do you? Naw!)

It probably doesn’t hurt that the federal government has rolled out the red carpet for at least some of the illegal alien juveniles.

Accordingly, as things stand, there is no reason for this stream of illegal arrivals, nor the strain on public budgets nor the erosion of our sovereignty, to end.

The question now, closer to home, is, what is Governor Chafee doing to stem the tide of illegal aliens into Rhode Island and the corresponding stream of money out of state and local tax coffers? Has he offered objection to the federal government to the arrival in Rhode Island of these and any additional illegal alien juveniles, an action that would also help to address the larger problem by discouraging illegal immigration? If not, has Governor Chafee identified what he would like to see cut from budgets, both local and state, none of which have much leeway in the expenditure column, to pay for the expenses – minimally, education and Medicaid – associated with these arrivals?

When We’re All a “Community,” Even a Majority Can Be Voiceless

Mickey Kaus highlights President Obama’s apparently corporatist vision of the U.S. Constitution.  Read the whole thing, but for my purposes, here are some key phrases from a comment from the president that Kaus highlights as follows:

… we have a bipartisan bill, Wendell, bipartisan agreement supported by everybody from labor to the evangelical community to law enforcement. So the argument isn’t between me and the House Republicans. It’s between the House Republicans and Senate Republicans, and House Republicans and the business community, and House Republicans and the evangelical community. I’m just one of the people they seem to disagree with on this issue. …

And in circumstances where even basic, common-sense, plain, vanilla legislation can’t pass because House Republicans consider it somehow a compromise of their principles, or giving Obama a victory, then we’ve got to take action. Otherwise, we’re not going to be making progress on the things that the American people care about.

Kaus translates an apparent argument for bypassing the people’s elected legislature, as follows:  “Where the key interest groups of society — business, labor, religious organizations and the MSM (who else is going to anoint a bill “common sense … legislation”?) — are lined up behind a policy, then if Congress doesn’t act, the President can.”

What I find most intriguing about this theory — based on my recent education in the Rhode Island elite’s method of designating fellow insiders to represent this or that “community,” ensuring that nothing changes — is that it enables Obama to make the American people non-people… to make what may be a majority simply disappear.  At the very least, one must admit that a whole lot of Americans are very concerned about illegal immigration, want it stopped at the border and dealt with within the country, and want to reduce the total flow of people immigrating.

You can agree or disagree with all of those people, but it’s a masterwork of deception for the president to make them all disappear on his way to arguing that they shouldn’t be represented in government.  Of course, division, deception, and dehumanization are what this president and his fellow progressives do.

(Via Instapundit.)

Steve Ahlquist, the Oppressors’ Heir

In attacking Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement, Steve Ahlquist gives reason to believe he’d have been a different kind of oppressor in a different time.

When Immigration Truth Is the Friday News Dump

Friday afternoon is the day that governments across America release information that they’d like to see downplayed.  During the weekend (especially in the summer), Americans are distracted, and journalists aren’t able really to dig into a late-Friday release until Monday, at which point the news cycle has moved on.

In the collection of Friday news dumps, this is a strange one:

The data, which was dumped by the U.S. border patrol late Friday afternoon, shows that inflow of youths and children traveling without parents has doubled since 2013, to 57,525 in the nine months up to July 2014.

But the number of migrants who cross the border in so-called “family units” has spiked five-fold to 55,420, according to the border patrol’s data, which came out amid a storm of news about the shoot-down of a Malaysian aircraft in Ukraine, delays in failed U.S. nuke talks with Iran, and on Hamas’ continued war against Israel.

So why should a simple demographic fact be treated like a political liability?  It changes the image of what’s happening on the border, doesn’t it?  Firstly, it changes the image of the invasion — from a wave of lonely children traversing Mexico alone to whole communities’ taking a journey.  It could be that many of the “unaccompanied” minors were actually very much accompanied, right up to the border.

Secondly, it changes the talking point that the wave is a result of the “Buse era” Wilberforce Trafficking law that required enhanced due process for unaccompanied children from nations other than Canada and Mexico.  That talking point is disingenuous because (1) the migration of children en masse does not relate to the intent of the law, (2) the law provides plenty of room for discretion in extreme and unanticipated circumstances, and (3) the Obama Administration is hardly a stickler for the letter of the law.  But still, it’s a talking point by which Democrats and progressive activists can muddy the water and prevent honest debate.

10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 37 (WJAR Gubernatorial Debates & Immigration)

Justin and Bob Plain discuss the first Republican and Democrat gubernatorial debates on Channel 10, WJAR, with some emphasis on the illegal immigration crisis.

Rally Tomorrow To Oppose The Disbursing of Illegal Alien Children to Rhode Island

RIILE, Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement released the following alert this afternoon via e-mail.

Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement invites all concerned Rhode Islanders to gather tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Smith Street side of the Rhode Island Statehouse to protest the Obama administration’s plan to disperse illegal alien minors to Rhode Island.

“Two planeloads of illegal aliens have already landed at Hanscom Air Base in Massachusetts, only 45 miles away, and Massachusetts has declined to accept them,” said Terry Gorman, president of Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement. “This may be our only chance to express our concerns to Governor Chafee and to discourage him from overwhelming our state with an unknown number of additional people needing government social services.”

Governor Chafee so far denies having been asked by White House administration officials to harbor the illegal alien minors in Rhode Island.

With the ink barely dry on a new state budget, Rhode Island is clearly in a fragile economic condition. Concerning illegal aliens, there exists a thriving underground network of grayscale government policy that combines passive sanctuary, benefit compensation, and lax, selective law enforcement. Accepting an unplanned influx of undocumented, unimmunized, and unsupervised aliens of minor age – all of whom illegally crossed the United States border to gain entry and none of whom can provide for themselves – is not an acceptable course of action for any state government, but especially not Rhode Island’s.

“We are not a people lacking in compassion, but this is a practical matter of survival and the obligation we have to Rhode Island citizens. Suicide is not noble and compassionate – it’s reckless,” Gorman said.

Illegal Alien Children: Governor Chafee’s Strangely Narrow Statement

The latest regional development in the disbursement of illegal alien children from the southern border, drawn to the United States in part due to a dramatic drop in deportation of other such children over the last five+ years, is that the state of Connecticut has declined a request by the federal government to house children in the Southbury Training School.

This morning, I called Governor Chafee’s office and urged him, via a staff member, not to accept illegal alien children into the state. I was given a response that it turns out had also been given to WPRO and which Bill Haberman and John Depetro had read on the air. It was, simply,

No federal entity has reached out to the State of Rhode Island requesting assistance with housing undocumented immigrants.

My follow up question for the gentleman on Governor Chafee’s staff whom I spoke to, to preclude confusion over terms, was “or refugees” and he agreed that the statement also applied to “refugees”.

But the Governor’s statement, specific and brief as it is, leaves a couple of large loopholes. No “federal” entity has reached out to the state. Have any other entities or individuals done so? If not to request assistance with “housing” undocumented immigrants, how about “temporarily sheltering” them?

It is not pleasant to have to parse the words of one of our elected officials this way but the narrowness of the statement compels us to do so.

Much as we sympathize deeply with the plight of these children, there are huge ramifications, budgetarily and public health-wise, to any state accepting dozens or hundreds, much less thousands, of illegal alien children, even if – especially if! – it is framed as a temporary situation. It is to be hoped that Governor Chafee will act accordingly and not out of a completely misguided sense of compassion.

Illegal Aliens and RI Social Programs: Qualifying Documentation Ranges from Strong to Alarmingly Weak

… In response to an inquiry from Ocean State Current-Anchor Rising, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services sent over several documents. One of those listed all of the documents that an applicant for social services can submit to verify citizenship qualification for those benefits.

From 8,143 Deportations to 1,669 – Another Way the President Precipitated This Flood of UAC’s (Unaccompanied Alien Children)

Justin describes the situation on the southern border and how those children have become “political chips”.

Let’s add deportation figures, supplied by the Los Angeles Times.

The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

This portrait of alarming (and deliberate?) inaction become even more acute when considered in the context of rapidly rising arrivals.

According to the Border Patrol, unaccompanied children apprehensions increased from 16,067 in fiscal year (FY) 2011 to 24,481 in FY 2012 and 38,833 in FY 2013.

President Obama has used this crisis to call on Congress to

fix our immigration system once and for all

a fix that the President clearly envisions as some variation of amnesty.

But an enormous question is posed by this “fix”. How would it do anything other than exacerbate the problem of illegal immigrants – of all ages – coming here uninvited? Accordingly, how could it possibly be called a fix?

Immigrant Children as Political Chips

Progressive historians will one day attribute the Obama Administration-facilitated humanitarian crisis on the border to the racist evils of the United States.

What the Republican Establishment Needs to Take Away From Eric Cantor’s Loss

GOP voters are much less likely than Democratic party voters (or Democratic party elites, for that matter) to reject economics. They thus realize that the intra-coalition deal where the establishment gets an immigration amnesty and lower wages for everyone, while the rest of the GOP gets to listen to the establishment elite posture ineffectively on other issues but never actually achieve anything, isn’t a good one.

If Wall Street/Chamber of Commerce types are interested in helping to build a stronger Republican party at the national level, their path forward is this: Invest some energy into an issue or two other than amnesty.

Activists and Lawmakers Set to Challenge In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens

Another round is looming in the dispute between members of the RI General Assembly and the attorney general over in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

Rhode Island, nos trata a todos como extraños

Al igual que un conductor que no sabe donde los edifi cios que solían ser, los que no conocen los canales secretos del gobierno de RI tienen tres opciones.

Lower Unemployment in Alabama Corresponds with Immigration Law

Correlation is not causation, but Alabama’s employment picture has improved in the wake of its stringent immigration law.

03/27/12 – House Committee on Labor

Justin writes live and extemporaneously from the House Committee on Labor hearing concerning E-Verify.

A Free-Market Catholic’s Conversation with the Bishop, Part 3 of 3

The Current interviews Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin, part 3 of 3: illegal immigration; perceptions of an oppressive state.

Inequality and Economic Dust

Ash Wednesday seems an appropriate day to consider ruminations on economic inequality, from James Nuechterlein’s “Public Square” column in last April’s First Things (subscription required): … the connection between inequality and hard times is so prevalent in folk wisdom that expressions of alarm over the nation’s distribution of income followed in the wake of the […]

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