A Los Angeles Times article today on the costs of illegal immigration in California pegs the education burden at nearly $2.3 billion — based on the costs of educating the estimated 300,000 students who are themselves in the state illegally. Such an analysis is laughably flawed. It is the children of illegal immigrants who pose the greatest strain on the state’s schools and they are just as much the foreseeable and inevitable consequence of illegal immigration as the illegal aliens themselves. Yet most estimates of the fiscal impact of illegal immigration engage in just such an arbitrary sleight-of-hand, including only the first generation’s costs as if the second generation materialized by surprise out of nowhere.
(This tally of a $11,626 per pupil cost in California produced by the governor’s office, by the way, is far larger than the $7,626 per pupil cost on which the Times bases its estimate of a $2.3 billion bill for educating illegal students.)