North Carolina governor Mike Easley wants illegal aliens to be able to attend community colleges in his state as out-of-state students. The previous policy of their CC system was to allow individual colleges to decide; now they must allow illegal aliens in. While this isn't as objectionable as those who would allow them to attend at the in-state rate or obtain other discounts, and while they say that it won't cost them money even if the numbers attending quadrupled (of course, that might be a low estimate), it's probably an initial step on the slippery slope. Plus, I don't like his Dick Durbin-esque tone. Says he:
"What people are upset about, they care deeply about their citizenship. It really means something to them... All the governors allow kids – illegal immigrants – to go to community colleges because they don't want to build an underclass in their state. All the states do that... We're not talking about 50-year-olds who are jumping the fence to go to school. We're talking about little kids who've grown up here through no fault of their own. They don't know where they were born... If you slam the door on them, you lose that talent. If you don't take advantage of it, it's just kind of dumb."
I don't know whose "citizenship" he was refering to, whether that of U.S. citizens, or that of the illegal aliens. In the first case, he's implying that U.S. citizens care too much about something that apparently he doesn't value as highly. And, that even applies in the second case and his remarks appear a bit "tranzi". As for "just kind of dumb", perhaps calling those residents of your state who oppose this plan "dumb" isn't the best strategy; I note that there are over 400 comments on the article, and I'd imagine that many or most are opposed to his plan. If he were thinking of the welfare of his state, he might consider encouraging those students to repatriate themselves or ask their home countries to pick up any bills they incur. Rep. Sue Myrick is opposed to the plan, as are other Republicans. Needless to say, the governor and other supporters are Democrats.
And, he even played a part in the decision by the general counsel of NC's CC system (David Sullivan):
Mr. Sullivan said his directive was based on a 1997 opinion by the state's attorney general at the time - Michael F. Easley, a Democrat who is now governor - which said that the colleges could not impose nonacademic criteria for admission.
Note: this issue has also generated one of the dumbest editorials on this issue I've ever read:
And yes, plenty of Latino Americans have broken the law in North Carolina, as have many company owners who rely on cheap labor to keep costs down. But all of them came here for the promise of a better life for themselves and future generations. And most of them aren't going anywhere.
Immigration2007b · Wed, 12/12/2007 - 14:58 · Importance: 1