Friday, April 29

A MICROCOSM OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT PROBLEM

Danbury, Connecticut, to the geographically literate, would be among the least likely places in America where one would expect to find a city or town overrun with illegal immigrants; but, think again. Would you believe 15,000 illegals dwell there or 19% of Danbury's population? And as its mayor is quick to point out, while our Federal government and our president do hardly anything to secure this country's borders, particularly its southern border with Mexico, encouraging a veritable human invasion, they nonetheless refuse to provide funds to cities whose services cannot keep up with the demands of the illegals. Indeed, the mayor of Danbury describes his city as "incredibly stressed by failed Federal policy."

But, fact is, the entire country is "stressed" by the failed policies of Washington.

Let me give you but two examples:

1) San Francisco now has over one-third of its enrolled students in "limited English" classes owing to being inundated by illegal aliens and the demands they place on public education;

2) More than 25% of all prisoners in our Federal prison system are illegal aliens and they comprise the fastest growing prison population segment.

There are, of course, countless other examples.

You'd think more governors would be raising hell with the president and the Congress given the following:

As local and state governments fight to find ways to trim services because of, in part, extra immigrant-driven costs, American citizens will continue to suffer because few of the same people seeking the budget cuts want to do much to trim immigration (in a case of bitter irony, states bear most of the costs of illegal immigration while most of the taxes paid by illegals go into the federal treasury).
Oh, and let me add something else to the mix. Want to really get your back up? Read this and tell me if any of you parents out there had a son or daughter who was unable to secure admissions to a major college or university in this country. Mirla Lopez received the proverbial "fat envelope" from the Admissions Department of the University of Texas, while many a U.S. citizen received a "thin envelope" -- an Admissions' rejection slip. Fair? Of course not! But as Mirla has the audacity to say: "Get used to it." After all, our government has emboldened them.

Read on:

No federal law prohibits undocumented aliens from attending public colleges or universities. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), held that it was illegal for a state to deny school-aged undocumented aliens the right to a free education. The Supreme Court relied on the equal protection doctrine, which prohibits a state or the federal government from denying equal protection of the laws to any "person" (not just U.S. citizens).

As yet, no federal law has overruled Plyler. The closest provision is IIRIRA ยง 505, which prohibits states from providing a post-secondary education benefit to an alien not lawfully present in the United States on the basis of the alien's residence in their state unless the state would also provide the same benefit to a citizen or national residing in another state. Translated into plain English, this provision appears to bar public colleges from charging undocumented aliens an in-state tuition rate, since they would be treated more favorably than out-of-state residents who are U.S. citizens. We discuss section 505 in more detail below.

No state law prohibits undocumented aliens from attending public colleges or universities. California is the only state to have attempted this so far, in Proposition 187. Among other things, section 8 of that proposition would have denied post-secondary education to undocumented aliens. But a federal court struck down Proposition 187, holding that the state law contradicted federal law and thus was "preempted" by federal law. League of United Latin American Citizens v. Wilson, 908 F. Supp. 755 (C.D. Cal. 1995); 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3418 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 1998). The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that federal law is the supreme law of the land. If Congress has effectively regulated in an area, states cannot enact laws that deviate from the federal one.