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Counting illegals

Encouraged and funded by the Association of Government Accountants, which has been campaigning for government number-crunchers to translate complex financial data into easy-to-digest form, Nevada state Controller Kim Wallin has printed up 15,000 copies of a little brochure called “A Report to Our Citizens,” designed to provide Nevadans with a “fiscal snapshot” of the state’s current financial condition.

A chart shows where government revenues come from. Another section reports that the typical Nevadan earns $37,089 per year. One figure in the little brochure really jumped out, though.

Ms. Wallin reports 23 percent of Nevada’s public school students are “English language learners.” Wow.

The federal government has a responsibility to control immigration and naturalization, but the courts have ruled that — no matter how badly Washington does at that task, or whether they even really try — states and local communities have to offer the children of illegal immigrants the same educational opportunities as the children of citizens.

Now, some of those “English Language Learner” students may be the children of families who have moved here legally. God bless such folks for their willingness to play by the rules, wait their turn, come here and work hard to build a new life as Americans.

But let’s not pretend we’ve spent the past 20 years sleeping in a cave with the fairy folk up in the hills. A whole lot of those non-English-speaking kids are here illegally.

How many? What, precisely, is it costing us? Without the influx of illegals, it’s a good bet we wouldn’t need to build any new school buildings for a while.

While we’re in the process of giving Nevadans a “fiscal snapshot” of the current state of their government finances, how come no one is even asking these questions — so vital to a lively and significant public debate now ongoing?

Many school officials claim that to even bring this up would be discriminatory and racist. Nonsense. These educrats can tell you the percentage of African-American and Pacific Islander children in each school, down to a tenth of a percent. They know what percentage of kids in each school come from poor families and thus qualify for free meals.

But they can’t figure out how many children are here illegally?

Taxpayers should be told the real cost of ignoring the illegal immigration problem. Count it, add it up and spell it out.

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