Friday, May 18, 2007

House Rewards Illegal Immigrants and Felons

On Thursday, the State House of Representatives voted 76-67 in favor of giving in-state tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants. These undocumented individuals, who are by extension illegal aliens themselves, will now enjoy the same privilege of paying the in-state rate of tuition that Connecticut citizens enjoy.

Of course, they will continue to have none of the responsibilities. They cannot vote. They do not pay income tax. They are never called for jury duty. A great many of them are burdening our social services programs.

What is being ignored here is that they are felons. Aside from the act of entering the country illegally, these people who are here and working are all doing so under fraudulent documents; either by faking social security and other documents, or actually committing identity theft to remain here. And your General Assembly just voted to give these felons reduced tuition rates.

The bill was the brain-child of Rep. Filipe Reinoso (D-Bridgeport) and was killed in committee earlier in the session. He brought it back last night as an amendment.

While it seemed that everyone of first generation foreign extraction was speaking in favor of the measure, Reinoso’s pleading on the House floor did not sit well with Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-Hartford). Gonzalez, an immigrant of Puerto Rico, presumably of the legal variety since she holds a House seat, was insulted deeply by Reinoso’s contrite tones.

In a homily that remains curiously unreported in any of the state’s major newspapers or electronic media outlets, Gonzalez took the floor of the House and expressed her anger at Reinoso for “begging.” She declared in her thick accent that her people do not have to beg, and that if the legislature continued to treat illegal immigrants “like second class citizens, we will make it miserable for you up here.”

Note to Rep. Gonzales: illegal immigrants aren’t second class citizens. They aren’t citizens at all!

Rep. Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport) probably summed up the view of the left on this issue quite well, when he intoned during debate; “I don’t think anyone is legal or illegal. People are here without documents. They’re undocumented.”

If immigrants want to become Americans, that’s terrific. But they should do it legally. Programs like this encourage and justify breaking the laws of the United States, and compromise its sovereignty. Citizens of Connecticut who are struggling to put children or themselves through college should be deeply offended. This bill attacks them.

What will our State Senate and Governor do?


Robert said...

I've ready your comments over at CT Conservative and I usually like what you have to say. In this case I'm going to have to disagree. Not necessarily to the overt message; that giving tuition breaks to those in the country illegally is wrong and foolish, that I agree with. It is the underlying ignorance that I disagree with.

I work with immigrants. It is my job. Most chuckle when I tell them I only have one job. I've met some who have as many as 4-5 jobs. These people work hard. No matter their ethnicity. And most of them pay their taxes.

The IRS does not care where they get their money from, and it has been a long standing belief in the immigrant community that paying your taxes now and avoiding the fines and penalties when they do gain some sort of legal status is a safe and smarter way to go. The IRS gives out "Tax ID" numbers which aliens use to pay their taxes. They are the same number of digits as a social security number but with none of the benefits of paying into retirement or payments for disability. The goverment often gets its' money from immigrants.

Additionally, the IRS... doesn't tell ICE (Immmigration and Customs Enforcement) where they are.

One of the biggest problems I have with the attitude most conservatives have towards immigrants is the seeming blindness to our own complicity in the problem (I consider myself a conservative centrist, if there is such an animal). We have barely made a half assed effort to enforce our border with Mexico and even less of an effort to enforce the Canadian border. If you were as poor as many of the folks who come to this country are and the only thing stopping you from gaining some prosperity for yourself and your loved ones was an unguarded fence with a hole in it would you let that stop you?

More to the point the United States has made it policy to severely underestimate the number of legal immigrants they allow in each year because we know that many times that number in illegals will enter as well. This is not new information. This is not a recent occurrence.

What is a recent occurrance is terrorism and the effects 9/11 has had on immigration. All of the 9/11 hijackers were in this country legally with current visa's. The ironic thing is that despite that truth it is the illegals that everyone is so concerned about. They pay the price for our broken system that allowed these men to come into the country and commit that crime.

And the biggest misconception of all; the old "why don't they go back to their country and enter legally?" saw. I'll tell you why. Because since 245-I ended in April of 2001 there has been no legal way to immigrate to the U.S. unless you marry a U.S. Citizen or are the child or parent of a U.S. Citizen.

The backlog for legal immigration is in the decades. Don't believe me? Try giving the consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti a call. I tried for weeks. I even got an unnamed congressional office innvolved and they couldn't reach anyone either. And that's the backlog for legal immigration.

The facts of the situation we are in right now is that evicting 12-15 million people from our country would obliterate our economy. I have men in trade companies (masons, carpenters and the like) who come to me saying "if you know anyone who wants to make $25 an hour hauling brick and stone all day and they are here legally let me know." They say that because they can't find anyone. They offer a good wage and when I'm running their advertising (something the DOL makes us do to prove their are no U.S. Workers who want the job) I am amazed at how few responses they get. And if the apoplicant is an American they want more money or don't have any experience... almost every time. Take their workforce away from them and see if you can get a building built, a lawn mowed or your lunch made.

Oh you will... for about 25% more than you are paying now. Ready for almost everything you do and buy to go up in price by 25%?

We need to secure our borders. We should have done it a long time ago. But booting that many people out of the country would cost billions, would create even more animosity with our allies, probably isn't even feasable, would damage our economy, and would anger a lot of people who are an important part of this country's makeup.

We need to secure our borders, make the folks here illegally, legal (which would resolve this tuition breaks for illegals nonsense) and set realistic numbers for how many folks we let into this country every year, not some hedged bet based upon how many will slip through the fence.

Once we do that border will be safe, the illegals will mostly be kept out (many illegals come here on visas and then just stay), and most important ICE will have the manpower to actually go after the bad apples in the barrel.

Right now no one talks to them. They are afraid of getting deported themselves. They are severely undermanned, and don't have the resources to go after the illegals who not only don't belong here, but aren't what America is looking for in a new citizen.

Anyone who thinks this can go any other way is absolutely fooling themselves, is serving as a roadblock to fixing the problem, and needs to wake up.

Yes we absolutely need to make sure that this time when we allow amnesty (I use the word hard line conservatives are so fond of here because it is accurate in that we are forgiving their illegal trespass but to imply that it is a free ride like many of them do disgusts me... a guy working 3 jobs raking leaves and hauling bricks who has to come up with $5-10 grand and wait 8 years to get his papers would, I doubt see the ride as free) that we fix the immigration and border security issue so we are not back here again in 10 years with the same problem.

But like I said, anyone who sees this going any other way is fooling themselves.

mccommas said...

Robert, I don't care about any of that.

The law is the law -- period.

Illegals should all be rounded up and un-ceremoniously deported preferable with a kick in the butt as they leave.

I think those caught sneaking in multiple times should be sent to prison in order to teach them and others a lesson.

This is a good issue to use in the election next year. People hate that our country does not take more seriously our boarder control.