Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Illegal Immigrant Hysteria

According to the N&O, the N.C. Community College System is the third largest in the U.S., enrolling more than 800,000 students in degree programs and continuing education classes. "With 58 campuses, it is the state's primary provider of work-force preparation and adult education."

Also according to the N&O, the community college system has about 340 undocumented students out of more than 271,000 degree-seeking students. Do the math: that's .00125 percent of our community college population who are illegal immigrants.

Well, call out the killer dogs! Or worse, the killer Foxes, as in Bill O'Reilly, than whom there is no one else more self-righteous. He lambasted the memo sent out last week by the N.C. community college system chief legal counsel directing all 58 campuses to accept illegal immigrants as "out-of-state students," meaning that each would pay around $10,000 a year in tuition, fees, and books. At those prices, "you're not going to get many takers," said Steve Scott, president of Wake Technical Community College. Facts not at all interesting to Bill O'Reilly.

Our local Caldwell Community College was one of the 58 campuses that previously rejected undocumented students. We know that because last year there was local buzz about the child of one of Virginia Foxx's Hispanic workers -- a child who was an honor graduate of Watauga High School, by the way -- who was denied admittance at Caldwell because she couldn't prove her citizenship.

The retiring president of the N.C. Community College system, Martin Lancaster, came out yesterday with a strong defense of the decision to admit illegals. The N&O calls it "a passionate defense." Lancaster said:
For North Carolina to be competitive in a global economy, it must depend on a knowledge-based workforce which makes it imperative that every future worker in North Carolina receive as much education as possible....

To deny a significant portion of tomorrow's workforce any higher education opportunities will not only hurt these young people who came to North Carolina through no fault of their own, but it will also significantly diminish their incomes forever. The consequences to North Carolina are reduced tax collections and potential payments for social services and incarceration long into the future.

Not that Lancaster's opinion will make a hill of beans' difference to people who slurp their wisdom from the Bill O'Reilly fount, nor people with hate in their hearts for .00125 percent of students (even when those students are paying significantly higher fees to be educated and are NOT getting anything free), nor those who want 12 million people rounded up, put in cattle cars, and shipped south.

Few politicians have made more political hay from the illegal immigrant hysteria than Madam Foxx. Ironically, her landscaping business has meanwhile profited from the hard labor of Hispanic newcomers. Perhaps it's occurred to The Madam that the truly Christian thing for her to do, now that Caldwell is being forced to admit that child it previously rejected, is to pay that out-of-state tuition bill.

Holding our breath ... we are not.


With three Republican candidates for governor and two Democratic candidates for governor all stampeding in the general direction Bill O'Reilly suggested they should go, and with Gov. Easley (along with Martin Lancaster) standing pretty much alone on the burning question of whether or not to educate illegal immigrants as out-of-state students... who should jump to Easley's defense but the Libertarian candidate for governor, Mike Munger:
"To withhold the right even to attend to people who are paying taxes in North Carolina seems to me just another step toward creating an apartheid system with second class non-citizens," Munger said in a statement. (AP story)

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