Rep. Bradley Byrne
FPI / December 5, 2019
The cost to the American taxpayer to educate the children of illegals and refugees is staggering, a Republican congressman said during a Dec. 4 hearing.
That cost is about $60 billion a year, Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama said at Wednesday’s Education and Labor Committee hearing.
While opponents of President Donald Trump were attacking the president’s “America First” immigration agenda at the hearing, Byrne pointed out that U.S. taxpayers have no choice but to subsidize the cost of educating the children of illegals.
Byrne cited the Pew Research Center, which in estimated that 3.9 million – or 7.3 percent – of kindergarten through 12th grade students in the United States were either here illegally or were the children of at least one parent illegally present in the United States.
Byrne said that while the federal government mandates English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for the roughly 9.6 percent of all U.S. students who are considered Limited English Proficiency (LEP), it is states and local residents who have to endure the cost.
“What percentage of ESL programs are paid for by the federal government that requires them? Just over one percent,” Byrne said. “Who pays for the rest? States and local school systems.”
Byrne continued: “So, we require it and we push 99 percent of the costs on state and local school systems. That costs a lot of money for these state and local school systems. Many of them like my state of Alabama just don’t have it. But because the federal government requires it, they have to put that money in there to the detriment of other programs.
“That cost is not being borne by those of us in Washington. It’s being borne by men and women and the states and local school systems around the United States of America. But really the cost is being borne by children who are being denied the programs that they should have. Children who are citizens of the United States, whose parents are citizens of the United States, they’re being denied programs because we’re forcing their state and local school systems to take on an expense that we should be taking on because we’ve failed to enforce our own laws.”
The Conservative Review noted in a September report how The Washington Post, in a report that smeared the small town of Worthington, Minnesota as racist due to the opposition from some residents to an influx of illegal immigrants, actually revealed the true cost of illegal immigration to towns across America.
The Post noted that the number of non-English speaking children in Worthington has nearly doubled since 2013, to 35 percent of students, and “[I]n the high school, where most unaccompanied minors are placed, it has almost tripled.” The Post also reports on girls coming into the schools straight from the border while pregnant.
Worthington had to increase taxes on its residents to expand an overcrowded school system due to the surge in illegal immigration.
The Conservative Review noted: “There are so many social problems with mass numbers coming from indigenous areas of Central America. God bless those people and people from other troubled parts of the world, but it’s not the job of small-town American residents to shoulder the burden of those problems in mass numbers forced upon the community without any orderly process of admission and assimilation.
“How come nobody in the state or federal delegation in Minnesota is even asking the question of why American children should have to deal with such a costly and disruptive transformation to accommodate people here illegally?”
The Post listed some other small communities enduring similar burdens, such as Manassas, Virginia; Scott County, Mississippi; and Texas County, Oklahoma.
“Why is nobody in Congress demanding an accounting for who is paying for this?” the Conservative Review asked. “It’s not like these people will be earning enough money to pay for their forced entry into these communities. The Washington Post might not have intended this, but they did a great service by exposing the truth of what is happening to so many towns across America thanks to the refusal of our government to enforce immigration laws as originally drafted.”
Free Press International