Huppenthal Sending Undocumented Student Bill To Feds, But Critics Cry Election Stunt

August 20, 2014

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal has announced plans to send a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the impacts of illegal immigration to the state education budget.

Huppenthal said the letter was drafted after analyzing the impacts of the state’s known 202 unaccompanied minors who arrived in the country recently without documentation.

He called a news conference to announce the results and discuss a letter he plans to send to the Obama administration requesting reimbursement for the nearly $1 million he says it will cost the state to educate these children.

Huppenthal added he’s also using the letter to express concern over a potential executive action granting amnesty to these and other immigrant children.

"We need to make sure that the Obama administration has thought this through. That they aren’t about to make some huge misstep with what they’re going to propose and they don’t just drop this on us," he said.

Immigration rights advocates and other state politicians say the announcement was nothing more than political pandering as the primary election approaches next week.

"He’s trying to get the extremist vote just before the primaries. I think what he really should be concerned about is educating all the kids regardless of who they are, where they come from and what their background is," said Lydia Guzman of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Huppenthal said the timing of the announcement was the result of several media requests for this type of analysis.