Obama Picks a Former Superintendent to Lead Policy on Illegal Immigration

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 15, 2009 1 min read
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Alan Bersin, who was superintendent of San Diego City schools from 1998 to 2005, has been named by the Obama administration to lead the administration’s policy on illegal immigration and drug-related violence near the U.S.-Mexican border, Politics K-12 reports. He’s on the board of Democrats for Education Reform. He’s also a former Secretary of Education for California. (Bersin is pictured here in a May 2006 Associated Press file photo taken by Rich Pedroncelli, during a state board of education meeting in Sacramento.)

Here’s the Los Angeles Times’ take on the appointment.

While we’re on the topic of illegal immigration, I’ll share with you an article in the Washington Post that I read over breakfast this morning. The article reports on a Pew Hispanic Center study released yesterday that says that the recent rapid increase of illegal immigration to the United States has come to a halt. The current estimate of undocumented immigrants is 11.9 million.

The study and the article say that while illegal immigration has slowed, the number of children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants has grown dramatically, from 2.7 million in 2003 to 4 million in 2008. Across the nation, now, one in 15 school-age children has a parent that is undocumented. In Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas, that ratio is one in 10 school-age children.

The Post rightly points out that this increase in the number of U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants has implications for schools. They must serve these children.

Today, the Pew Hispanic Center released a statistical profile of Mexican immigrants living in the United States. About 55 percent of Mexican immigrants are undocumented, the profile says.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.