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La. leaders meet as Ebola and immigration loom

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BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers and local leaders met Thursday to discuss solutions to hot button issues affecting Louisiana

On the agenda was immigration along the U.S. - Mexico border and Ebola. After three hours of discussion, though, no hard and fast solutions materialized.

Lawmakers say the border issue is opening a floodgate of trouble, especially as unaccompanied minors continue to make their way across the border, with thousands of kids being picked up since the beginning of summer. More than 1,000 were sent to live with sponsors in Louisiana.

Senator David Vitter claimed Thursday it costs taxpayers $10 million to educate them.

"This is a crisis and we need to act," Senator Vitter said. "It's a huge burden on Louisiana including $10 million in public schools alone."

Security leaders warn that unaccompanied minors are only the tip of the iceberg, as drugs and sex slavery continue to pose a threat here at home.

"We know that our collapsed southern border is an open invitation to anyone," said Clare Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy. "We don't know how many have not been apprehended, but have crossed that border."

"The biggest threat we have coming across that border is drugs," said State Police Superintendent, Colonel Mike Edmonson. "What happens at the Texas, Mexico border has a direct reflection here in Louisiana."

The council discussed options to get unaccompanied minors out of the state faster, and to push the federal government to enforce more restrictions on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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