But What About the Children?

I see where a federal judge has upheld the part of Alabama’s harsh new immigration law that requires public schools to check the immigration status of all students. This is one more effort to punish the children of undocumented immigrants.

What I find particularly galling about laws like this, and opposition to the Dream Act (which recognizes what any sane person understands–that a two-year-old did not intentionally ‘break the law’ by coming to the US with his parents) is that the people who are dead-set against allowing these children to attend public schools or universities tend to be the same people who can be found piously proclaiming their concern for ‘the children.’

Protect the children from exposure to porn on the internet! Protect the children from recognizing the existence of gay people! Protect the children from studying ‘dirty’ books in school, or taking them out at the local library!

This heartfelt desire to ‘protect’ children would certainly be laudable if it weren’t so selective. But somehow, this often-expressed concern doesn’t extend to paying taxes to insure that poor children have enough to eat, and it doesn’t extend to educating them so that they can be productive members of the only society they have ever known.

Even Rick Perry, in the only statement he has made that I agree with, has said that people who would keep children of undocumented immigrants out of school are heartless. But then he heard the voice of the Tea Party, genuflected, and apologized. God forbid a candidate for President should show some human compassion!

How mean-spirited have we become?

1 Comment

  1. Why don’t we leave our front doors open tonight and invite everybody in to share our family’s food, shelter, and clothing? Why are we “punishing” the prospective children that could walk through our door and need our help? Our own children and family are more important?

    I volunteer for schools and donate to charities, some having children of all ethnicities and who knows what citizenship status. Why am I a hater, discriminatory, or lacking in compassion if I believe that governmental funding is limited- even if compassion is not?

    The reason the poor and non-citizens have some of the benefits they do is because of the collective productivity of our economic system. Maybe someone’s present fiscal success is from hard work, maybe inheritance, luck, or perhaps due to unethical, illegal, or corrupt means. While “getting over” isn’t limited to any one demographic, those making big money in America though unfair methods ought to be kept in check on behalf of those playing by the rules, and to stave-off class warfare.

    However, many of us paying our taxes, making our donations, and playing by the rules are still coming-up fiscally short. Between immediate family, fellow citizens, or non-citizens, which group does the United States (borrowing billions per day we don’t have), have to consider putting at the bottom of the list? If a finite economic system is a laughable concept, maybe it really is time to leave the front door open at night. Given President Obama’s tongue-in-cheek border security comments about “alligators” and “moats”, maybe it’s ludicrous to worry about bad guys walking in?

    Most polling, including the results shared by local Senator Schneider, show America doesn’t want an open border. It doesn’t seem a historical or global success either. While I disagree with loading all illegal immigrants into trucks and heading South, I’m more unhappy with the illegal hiring that encouraged the illegal entry, and feel-good political pelts, like the Dream Act.

    We need the prioritization Congress gave health “reform”, but without the unaffordable, hyper-partisan, after-hours, thousands-of-pages backroom deal. We have to set aside the current wailing that emphatic political differences must be avoided in favor of the snake oil of “compromise”. Civility- I’m with you. 14 trillion in debt from too much compromise- I’m not.

    Comprehensive immigration and citizenship policy needs the unavoidable, hours-in-the-dental-chair legislative gestation, but this time without the tactics to avoid mainstream America. Deliberation may again not be successful. However, more social policy shoved down our throats when debate fails is needed like a heart transplant followed by constant biological rejection. The semi-inept budget deal that got downgraded by S&P was genuine compromise. It pleased no one, but was a nudge closer to economic reality instead of fantasy.

    When their time comes, do we “punish the children” that inherit all this with reality- or fantasy?

    Ms. Kennedy- you have my complete sympathy and agreement in the madness of trying to make computers cooperative.

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