Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Huppenthal Asking for $1 Million to Handle Migrant Influx in Arizona Schools

Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer

The state’s top education official warned that Arizona schools could be inundated with immigrant children if President Obama enacts an amnesty plan. As Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports, John Huppenthal is asking the federal government for $1 million to handle the influx.

Huppenthal said he became concerned in the last few months with the flood of unaccompanied children across the border into Texas. About 200 have been placed in Arizona. But he said his fear is that would balloon by tens of thousands with an executive order. It was pointed out to him, though, that the U.S. Supreme Court says states must educate all children, regardless of immigration status.

“Perhaps. We don’t know all of the implications. In the past there have been complex effects of, depending on how it’s worded, how it’s structured, how it’s administered. All of these things could inadvertently open up the flood and hit us.”

Huppenthal said he called a press conference now because of the imminent threat of an amnesty order. But state Sen. Steve Gallardo said he sees a far different motive in the timing, less than a week before the Republican primary.

“This is what you do in Arizona politics. When you’re losing in the polls and it looks like your days as an elected official are numbered, that’s when you start moving towards attacking undocumented kids. And that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

Huppenthal faces a challenge from fellow Republican Diane Douglas.

Related Content