Lobbyist: Illegal immigrants cost state $224M a year

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The fiscal burden of the estimated 40,000 illegal immigrants and their 7,800 U.S.-born children in Louisiana costs the state

$224 million a year, according to a lobbyist with the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Joyce Mucci, a spokeswoman for the group, spoke to members of the Republican Women on Thursday at their monthly luncheon.

Mucci criticized the deferred action for childhood arrivals.

In June, “the Secretary of Homeland

Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as

children and meet

several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred

action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would

then be eligible for work authorization,” according to the

Department of Homeland Security’s website.

“Deferred action is a discretionary

determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of

prosecutorial discretion.”

The website also says deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status.

“The American people and their elected officials in Congress are the only stakeholders who can decide who can come into this

country, how many can come into this country and how the rules will be enforced,” Mucci said.

She said it’s not the Obama

administration’s place to decide immigration reform, and she accused the

administration of circumventing

Congress to implement legislation.

“Remember our immigration policy defines us; it’s who we are,” Mucci said. “It is what we will become as a society.”

Mucci said illegal immigrants are costing the state of Louisiana $109.5 million a year just in K-12 education.

“That’s a lot of money,” Mucci said. “This is money that could be saved.”

With unemployment just under 8 percent, Mucci said the illegal immigrants in the United States are in an already overcrowded


Mucci said she understands why people from other countries want to be in the United States — that they want “better for their

families” — but she said it is not a justification for breaking the law.

Online: www.fairus.org.