by David Safier
The Pew Hispanic Center says one in seven students in Arizona schools are there as the result of illegal immigration. About 100,000 of the students are citizens with one or more parents here illegally. Another 60,000 are themselves not legal residents.
The study said the national figure is one in fifteen.
These number are far higher than I would have guessed, but since Pew has no ax to grind on this issue that I know of, I accept them as reasonable estimates.
The conservative, anti-immigration response to these numbers writes itself — high cost of immigration, send them back home, don't boost ELL funding, etc.
Here's my response. Most of these children will remain in the U.S. The better education they receive, the better for them and for the country, since they will be more likely to contribute to the economy rather than being a drain on it. Denying anyone in this country the best education we can offer is a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. For those who return to their countries of origin — which is probably a small portion of the whole — if they carry a decent quality education with them, it's a benefit to that country, which probably benefits us in the long run.