Any child, whether being an American citizen, legal
immigrant, or illegal immigrant has the right to a free public school
education. This is a highly debated concept, since taxpayer money is used to
fund the education of children who were allowed to enter the country in the
first place, regardless of legal status. Arguments for and against this policy
tend to lead to specific questions of whether or not children of illegal
immigration, both foreign-born and domestically-born, should be entitled to an
education in the United States.
As with most issues on the topic of
illegal immigration, political opinions vary with regard to illegal immigrants
in public schools and which immigration laws should be enacted alongside these
concerns. Currently, laws addressing illegal immigration permit all children to
receive a public education.
A primary issue presented by presence of children of illegal immigration in the
public school system is the underlying cost of their general education. In
2004, statistics showed that California spent about $7.7 billion per year to
educate the total number of illegal immigrants in public schools–a figure that
comprised 17% of the budget for the entire school system in California.
California has a high rate of illegal immigration because of its close
proximity to the Mexican border, and it was discovered that in the entire
United States, it cost $28.4 billion in 2004 to educate the children of illegal
immigrants in public schools.
Ultimately, presence of children of illegal immigration in the public school
system, and the general expenses that surround them, creates a very expensive
situation, in addition to causing a large degree of controversy. Since efforts
are being made by Congress to allow children of illegal immigration to attend
college, the tension has greatly escalated; some individuals think that
offering a college education to the children of illegal immigrants provide
undue incentives to immigrate illegally.
The presence of children of illegal immigration in the public school system
continues to stir up debate. While the idea of paying taxes for legal immigrant
children to become educated evokes tension, some take opposing views in
considering that public dollars are spent educating children of illegal
immigration. Despite a concerted effort to enact a counter-policy that these
immigrant laws hold, children of illegal immigration are still permitted to
partake in the American public school system.
As a result of the United States
facing financial crisis and suffering from a lack of accessible health care, a
large percentage of the American public disagree with an immigration policy
that allows illegal immigrants to have access to subsidized health care. While
illegal immigrants are not legally entitled to many of the forms of health care
citizens can get, they sometimes rely heavily on state emergency Medicaid
dollars–these funds are designated as part of government-sponsored health care
program geared towards low-income households.
In cases of medical emergencies,
hospitals cannot turn anyone away, regardless of financial or legal standing.
Yet, illegal residents are not entitled to anything beyond emergency health
care unless they pay out of pocket for it. Many then choose to visit free
public clinics for medical help, but these clinics are often understaffed and
Aside from California, Texas is the most popular state for illegal adult and
child immigration, due mostly to its close proximity to the Mexican border. In
Texas alone, it has been estimated that illegal immigrants, many of which are
considered to be children of illegal immigration, cost hospitals roughly $1.3
billion in 2006–a number that has continued to grow.
Politicians are desperately trying to come to an agreement about the policies
that should go into effect involving illegal adult and child immigration. Some
are trying to cut the amount of money taxpayers have had to spend footing the
often-large medical bills that are required for basic care of illegal
immigrants. These same policymakers are trying to cut down the amount of money
that the American public spends on the education of a child born to parents
Nationally, efforts to get health insurance for just a legal child immigrant
from the State Children’s Health Insurance Program is still up in the air. Many
argue that illegal immigrants adversely affect the number of American citizens
without health insurance due to the increasing costs of adult and child immigrant
America has been facing a health care crisis for some time now, and even with
health care on the national agenda, Americans are still struggling to get the
care they need. The question of whether or not illegal immigrants, regardless
of age, should be entitled to free health care is a notoriously controversial