It will cost Louisiana nearly $7 million to educate the estimated 1,652 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors released to sponsors in the state, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) revealed Tuesday.
“This rapid influx puts an additional burden on teachers who will be expected to accommodate non-English speaking students. That’s not fair to the teachers and not fair to the students in the classroom,” Vitter said in a statement Tuesday.
In response to an inquiry from Vitter, the Louisiana Department of Education provided the number of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors relocated to parishes in the state and the estimated cost to educate the students in public schools, as required by the federal government.
Vitter’s office notes that the $6,973,777 total is likely an underestimate, as not all the Louisiana parishes were able to provide a cost estimate.
From January 1 to August 31, more than 43,400 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors have been placed with sponsors throughout the United States.
The federal government pins the number of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors relocated to Louisiana at 1,414 – slightly less than the estimate from the Louisiana Department of Education.
Many of the relocated illegal immigrant minors are from Central America and part of the large wave of illegal immigration this year.
According to Vitter’s office, the state’s parishes have had to hire dozens of new teachers to deal with the influx, specifically English as a Second Language (ESL), special education, and bilingual teachers.
“President Obama’s failure to enforce basic immigration laws is now causing a huge financial burden for Louisiana,” Vitter said.