- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2014

The complexities of illegal immigration continues. One new estimate places the annual cost for state governments to educate unaccompanied minor immigrants at $761,405,907 a year - this according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a non-profit interest group which based its findings on federal data. Tax-payer funded classes conducted in Spanish or indigenous languages from Central America, plus free or reduced cost school meals contribute to the cost.

How many youngsters are here now? The exact number is 37,472 - resettled in all 50 states with wide disparity, the researchers found. Montana, for example, was sent one child, costing the state $18,630. Texas took in the most: 5,280 children, at a projected cost of $78 million a year. But New York has the biggest bill. The Empire State is now the home of 4,244 youngsters, who will cost the state an extra $148 million.

Meanwhile, an analysis of Census data by the Pew Research Center finds that the population of illegal immigrants has stabilized and ‘leveled off’ at an estimated 11.3 million. Sixty one percent of that population has been in the U.S. for 10 years or more, 16 percent less than five years, the report found.

And other noteworthy numbers: 4 million illegal immigrants live with their U.S.-born children, and have been residents for a median 15 years. The report also says that from 2009-2012, 400,000 illegals were deported each year. And in the past 12 months, the number of unaccompanied minor children apprehended at the U.S. border has risen by 88 percent.

Voters have their thoughts, meanwhile.

“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,” says a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday.

It finds that 62 percent of likely voter oppose granting the amnesty, while 57 percent think the president does not have the legal authority to make the decision without the approval of Congress. Should Mr. Obama go forward with the amnesty plan, 55 percent say Congress should “challenge that action in court.”

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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