State Senator Steve Sodders recently had an article in the T-R explaining how "Immigrants and refugees from impoverished or war-torn countries have come to us, seeking the American Dream." His article does not address if these people came to the U.S. legally (following our laws) or illegally. The article mentioned some dollar figures on what the cost is to educate these students (whether they arrived here legally or illegally). Mr. Sodders stated there were more than 25,000 (how many more I do not know) English Language Learner (ELL) students in Iowa. That was an increase of nearly 100 percent in 10 years. In some school districts the ELL students make up 75 percent of the student body. The Senate passed a bill (SF404) increasing the funding for ELL from 4 to 7 years with an additional $1,320 per year per ELL student. Do the math for three extra years X $1,320 X 25,000 and you get an increase of $99,000,000 (99 million). That is not taking into account all the millions already being spent prior to the proposed increase for the four years already provided now. You might want to ask your state senators or representatives where this money will come from. Might it impact our citizen students? Are you in favor of paying more taxes? Whether it's state or federal taxes, it still comes from your back pocket!
Contrast this to Britain where Prime Minister Cameron unveiled a crackdown on immigrants saying he planned to show them "the door" and rein in welfare benefits he believes lure foreigners to live off the British state. Cameron stated, "Put simply when it comes to illegal migrants, we're rolling up that red carpet and showing them the door." Fines for employers who hire illegal immigrants will be doubled and landlords who let housing to illegal immigrants could also face fines, Cameron said. He continued, "Ending the something for nothing culture needs to apply to immigration as well as welfare. We're going to give migrants from the EEA (European Economic Area) a very clear message." Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said Britain was also considering obliging visitors from "high-risk" countries to pay a returnable cash bond to deter them from overstaying. You might ask yourself and your elected officials if we can learn something from our British friends.