New York City is making headlines—and angering many—for becoming the nation’s first municipality to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to help illegal immigrants get jobs and learn English. How generous of the Big Apple!

Under the plan the city will become the first in the U.S. to invest $18 million in a special program aimed at helping illegal aliens find work and get driver’s licenses. City officials have named it the immigration relief program and it will include adult education classes and legal services, among other benefits. It is expected to help tens of thousands of illegal immigrants living in the area.

The move has made New York lawmakers heroes among the powerful open borders movement, which applauds the effort as an investment that will allow thousands of immigrants to legally live and work in the country. Everyone will benefit because this will enable the undocumented to legally work, live and reinvest in the city, according to the New York Immigration Coalition, a group that “values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all.”

Creating a multi-million-dollar program to help illegal immigrants was the idea of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is running for mayor this year. At her request the city will provide $13.7 million to “community-based organizations” for “outreach” and $4.3 million to a public university to expand educational opportunities for illegal aliens. “It’s exciting to be the first city in America to make this investment in our young immigrants who, in turn, have so much to offer our city,” Quinn said, reminding that “New York City was built by immigrants.”

Quinn also thanked President Obama for sparing illegal immigrants around the U.S. from deportation and stressed the importance of local governments doing their part to help out and not “let the opportunity of these federal actions fall short.” In this case a big chunk of the public funds will go to expanding educational opportunity, especially for adults in need of basic literacy and English proficiency.

U.S. taxpayers already spend tens of millions of dollars annually to educate illegal immigrants in public elementary and high schools around the nation and the tab is especially high in Mexican border states where many students come to the system with virtually no literacy skills, even in their native language. Some states—including California, Illinois, New York, Utah and Texas—stick it to American taxpayers even harder by also offering illegal immigrants discounted tuition at public colleges and universities.

The investment is well worth it, according to one New York City Councilman, who assures that “expanding educational opportunity is not only good for the economy but it is also going to help keep our immigrant families together.” The same councilman proceeded to congratulate himself and his colleagues asserting that “the New York City Council once again leads the way on responding to the vital needs of our immigrant rich communities.”