Adult illegal immigrants are posing as unaccompanied minors to enroll in public high schools in Massachusetts, officials said Friday.
"Some of them have had gray hair, and they’re telling you that they’re 17 years old and they have no documentation," Jamie Cerulli, the chief of staff for Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy of Lynn, Massachusetts, told The National Review.
"If my children went to the public schools, I’d be very uncomfortable with all of these unaccompanied minors [that] are placed in the ninth grade."
Catherine Latham, the school superintendent, said that foreign-student admissions have increased in the district by 500 since the 2010-11 school year. That includes illegal immigrants, refugees, and foreign nationals, the National Review reports.
Nearly 250 students came from Guatemala last school year — and 126 of them enrolled in the ninth grade, Latham said.
Located about 10 miles north of Boston, Lynn has a large Guatemalan population, she told the National Review. Many of the illegal immigrants who arrive there from the Central American country come from the city of San Marcos.
The National Review obtained information and images from the Department of Homeland Security on two illegal immigrants in Lynn who have registered for high school using questionable data.
Isai and Candelaria — whose full names were withheld — are enrolled in the ninth grade and are expected to attend classes this fall, Latham told the National Review.
Latham said that when possible age discrepancies arise, city officials visit the homes of those in question and try to verify age and other information.
She told the National Review of a case in which a relative of an illegal immigrant who registered for school as a "child" was identified by a relative as being 30 to 35 years old.
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