WASHINGTON — Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she does not think closing detention centers for illegal immigration would further contribute to classroom overcrowding in public schools.
According to a 2017 report from The Education Trust-West, more than 250,000 students in public schools had undocumented parents. The report also found that “1 in 13 Californians is undocumented.” School districts in cities such as Los Angeles have struggled with classroom overcrowding.
Torres, who recently advocated for the closure of immigrant detention centers at a rally with the American Federation of Teachers, was asked if she’s concerned that the added influx of illegal immigrants into local communities would exacerbate classroom overcrowding in school districts.
“I visit a lot with my local schools and overcrowding is not an issue for us,” said Torres, who represents the 35th congressional district in Southern California, which is located in the Inland Empire.
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, more undocumented immigrants live in Southern California than in any other metropolitan area in the country. The study estimates that more than 1.4 million undocumented immigrants are living in Southern California.
Public school systems in cities such as Philadelphia are struggling with class size issues. School districts in the Philadelphia suburbs are also faced with similar overcrowding issues. Torres disagreed with those concerned that illegal immigration is contributing to the problem.
“I don’t see that at all because I don’t see all of these people flocking to Pennsylvania,” she replied.