The surge of illegal immigrants in the US cost at least $761 million to educate in 2014. The estimation from the Federation for American Immigration Reform issued a report on the 37,000 illegal immigrant minors after analyzing data from the Department of Health and Human Services and education funding formulas in all fifty states.
The majority of student immigrants came to the US from Central America.
While some aren’t thrilled about the additional costs of teaching the immigrants, immigrants rights groups say that it’s a small price to pay to help these children in need.
Jorge Baron of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Projects said, “We’re one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We should be able to handle this if we focus our energy and some resources and we make sure that kids are treated well, and treated the way we, in America believe kids should be treated.”
The battle of education funding is one that never ceases. The recent recession zapped available dollars; most states in the US are still spending less per student than they did six years ago in 2008. The addition of so many immigrants has spread the education money even more thin -- but is the cost worth it?
I believe that educating immigrants is something the US should do with their heads held high. These young students crossed the border to our country and giving them the gift of education is our responsibility. These unaccompanied minors are worth investing in; the face of America is changing and the radical transformation is largely due to immigrants. Educating today’s school-age immigrants means better workers in the future - these educated students will positively impact the wealth of this country.
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The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.