Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Cost For Educating Non-English Speakers

A Review submitted to the Utah State Legislature shows that the cost for education non-English speaker in poverty is between $100-$500 more than native speakers.

Unfortunately, they were asked to specify what it costs to educate an undocumented immigrant. This audit raises more questions than it answers. The only criterion they have used to determine costs appears to be whether English is a second language, and the poverty level of the student. This doesn't answer costs of educating for me, because we should assume from this report that it costs the same to educate a documented immigrant child. That is, unless it can be proven that legal immigrants are less likely to live in poverty than illegal immigrants.

Is poverty the lot of all illegal immigrants? Certainly not always relative to their country of origin. Living here in the worst of circumstances is still remarkably better than third-world poverty. But, does living here as an illegal immigrant condemn one to live below our poverty line? Is a Social Security Number and a job, likely to move one above the poverty line? How many illegal immigrants with children are going to work here without a Social Security Number(belonging to whom?), really? Relative to one another, do illegal immigrants have a advantage over legal immigrants because of what it cost to come here legally?

The question that should be answered, but cannot with such a narrow study as this is 'what is the real cost of illegal immigration to the migrant child'?

Hat Tip: SL Tribune


WP said...

Fast food and some other businesses will always require the undocumented to cook their burgers, prepare the enchilada platters and change the sheets at the Marriotts and Best Western motels. Once many of the undocumented have their work permits they will be able to move into better paying permanent work with benefits.

It has been my experience anyone with papers can find work at twice minimum wage. They can compete with the gringos in many job markets including construction, crafts and trades.

Allie said...

I'd be more interested in a study that told us the cost of not educating those children.

It frustrates me that we keep trying to find ways to punish those here illegally while ignoring the root of the problem.

I have a neighbor who has some very "specific" views on immigration, which is why I found it very amusing to see who exactly was installing his new sprinkling system... We don't want them here, and find ways to punish them for "breaking the law" but we want their cheap labor...

Tyler Farrer said...

The question would be then, do you favor illegal immigration and the low wages that result?

wordsfromhome said...

Tyler, I would suggest that we favor the legalization of the immigration that has occurred. This would boost the economy and allow these immigrants to be more productive and officially pay into our society. They could then receive the benefits of their legal productivity that the rest of us take for granted.

Allie said...

I don't favor illegal immigration or unlivable wages (except for high school students- they're the only ones who should actually be earning minimum wage).

I do favor immigration laws that work (unfortunately we don't have any right now).