Cost to Educate Young Illegal Immigrants Estimated At $761M

States shoulder the cost for nearly 40,000 children

Immigrants run to jump on a train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border / AP
• September 9, 2014 12:17 pm


The 37,472 unaccompanied immigrant minors living across the country will cost state governments more than $761 million per year, according to data gathered by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The interest group's report comes following a Pew poll that shows the majority of Americans favor stricter enforcement of immigration laws and heightened border security.

"Most voters oppose President Obama’s reported plan to unilaterally grant amnesty to several million illegal immigrants and think Congress should challenge him in court if he goes ahead with it," a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday said.

The $761,405,907 includes taxpayer-funded classes conducted in Spanish or indigenous languages from Central America and the cost of free or reduced-cost school meals.

There is wide disparity between the states in what educating these students costs. Montana has just one such student, costing the state $18,630. Texas has the most–5,280 children–which will cost $78 million a year. New York pays the most, though: Its 4,244 students will cost the state $148 million.

The number of illegal immigrants in the United States has stabilized after a brief rise paralleling economic improvement. Now, an estimated 11.3 million illegal immigrants reside in the United States, 4 million of whom live with their U.S.-born children. Should President Obama move forward with offering amnesty, the number of illegal immigrants–and their impact on state economies–will only increase.