illegal aliens are pretending to be children so they can enroll in the Massachusetts public school system, a mayor has claimed.
Several migrants who have signed up for class in the city of Lynn have reportedly been found to be well over the maximum age for state education.
One of the students was an astonishing 35-years-old.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said some of the men and women had graying hair around their temples and "more wrinkles than I have."
They initially claimed, she said, to be between 14 and 17 years of age. But, she added: "They are not all children."
Kennedy made the claims at a press conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
She also said she was powerless to stop the overagers from registering, because federal rules ban school officials from verifying students' ages.
"We were told through a directive from the Department of Justice that we were not to question or verify these ages," she said.
The directive, issued in May, also reminded public schools they were legally required to enroll all children, regardless of their immigration status.
Asked by CNSNews.com how they managed to determine the age of some of the adults, Kennedy said they were able to do so only "every once in a while."
"For example, if a student does not show up for a few days of classes, we will send our truant officers out to find out what's going on at that home," she said.
"One example: the woman who answered the door said, 'he's 35, he's not going to show up at school. But we cannot ask them for any more verification of age," she added.
With the number of students incoming from the Central American nation almost doubling from 56 to 101 in the last school year, she admitted it was "very frustrating."
Kennedy also claimed the cost of educating the overage students was putting serious strain on Lynn's public purse.
And, with federal government not revealing whether they will be reimbursed for the increased outlay, she said it was hitting the blue-collar factory town of 90,000 people hard.