The Impact of Immigration on Education

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 111

By Mark Krikorian, Steven A. Camarota, and Todd Bensman on June 29, 2023

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This week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy covers the impact of immigration on the American education system. Two experts from the Center for Immigration Studies join us to discuss this issue. Steven Camarota, Director of Research, talks about the impact of both legal and illegal immigration on public schools throughout the United States, which was the subject of a recent report that provides a visual representation of the impact on the education system in each community. Todd Bensman, Senior National Security Fellow, focuses on how a recent influx of illegal immigration has affected one specific community outside Houston, Texas.

The findings in Camarota’s report show that students from immigrant households account for an enormous share of public school students in many areas. Moreover, a larger share of students from immigrant households come from low-income families and speak a foreign language at home, creating significant challenges, often in areas already struggling to educate students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Bensman examines the effect of immigration on public schools in Liberty County, Texas, about 40 miles north of Houston. In just the last five years, tens of thousands of illegal-immigrant families with school-age children have taken up residence in the county. Case studies in communities near the border where illegal immigrants often settle are important in understanding the impact of illegal immigration, because, as Bensman says on the show, “Public school districts are going to be probably first impacted in the visible, noticeable, pocketbook sort of way, because this mass migration crisis is very child-centric.”

In his closing commentary, host of the podcast and Executive Director of CIS Mark Krikorian highlights a series of important Supreme Court decisions on immigration, which will be the subject of next week’s podcast episode.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Steven Camarota is the Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Todd Bensman is the Senior National Security Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.


Mapping the Impact of Immigration on Public Schools

Book: OVERRUN: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in American History

America’s Public Schools: Canaries in the Coal Mine of the Biden Border Crisis


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".