DEKALB COUNTY, GA-- It was getting repetitious, and the parents in it were losing their patience.

"I tried to register my son last week. I came three times," said Macyory Calderon, a mother who waited in line Monday before dawn outside the DeKalb International Welcome Center, where new immigrants register for public school.

"(I was here) Thursday (and) Friday," said Lloyd Robert, a dad who was also in line Monday. "Things are really bad."


The line had filled before dawn Monday with newly arrived immigrants trying to register their children for classes. The same line formed repeatedly last week.

"It's very hard because you have to bring the kids," said Calderon. "If you have to go to the bathroom, there is no place for them to go."

It was a story with two sides that couldn't fully reconcile. The school system said registering new immigrants with a limited staff is necessarily a painstaking process, for the protection of the students.

"We have the responsibility to ensure that they have every document required for registration," said the center's director, Sandra Nunez. "Especially the immunization papers."

Conversely, frustration festered among parents in a line that formed, then abruptly dispersed repeatedly over the course of a week.

"But they just make things like difficult you know," said Lloyd.

Nunez said school officials gave out hundreds of vouchers to those parents turned away again Monday-- with specific appointment times to return later in the week.

Nunez said it appeared many parents waited until the last minute to register. "We have been open during the whole summer, and we are always open during the whole summer," she said. "I would recommend that we register our children early."