Blurring the Lines

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By Maria Fotopoulos

Maria is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow who focuses on the impacts of growth on biodiversity. Find her on Twitter | in | FB.

The writer’s views are her own.


 

September 21, 2012

"Truth is stranger than fiction" seems to play out every day in California. Two recent news items just leave me "shaking my head."

You’ve heard of the Dream Act, federal legislation to put illegal immigrants on the path to citizenship – legislation not passed through many years and iterations, but helped along most recently by President Obama’s “policy change” which stops the deportation of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and allows them the opportunity to apply for work permits.

Well, there’s also the “Dream Act College” here in California, or at least there was. According to FOX News, the UCLA Labor Center and the National Labor College created a program of online courses, ostensibly open to everyone regardless of immigration status – which, as I read more about it, started sounding like code for a program targeted to illegal immigrants – described as leading to “a career in activism focused on immigration issues.”

The FOX story said that tuition was thousands of dollars lower than what legal residents pay to attend the prestigious UCLA.

California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-59th District) had criticized the program, saying, “You're going to have the taxpayers subsidizing it, so that illegal aliens can go to college, have their own little college, teach their own ideology, and all at taxpayer expense."

The program is now closed, apparently having succumbed to lawmaker and other criticism, and perhaps due to failure of the program creators to follow appropriate protocol in the development of the new college.

So, that’s some good news to see taxpayer-subsidized education not going to a program that likely ultimately would advocate against the best interests of American citizens, but the idea that this program was even created is just mind-boggling.

The other news that I just find incredible is a plan being studied by the Los Angeles City Council to use library cards as IDs for illegal immigrants – yes, library cards!

An immigration attorney is quoted in this ABC report, saying the plan would help illegal immigrants open bank accounts and cash checks. The attorney also said that in “an event where they (illegal immigrants) have to talk to the police, they are able to be identified as such.” (If you think this is a bad idea, consider contacting L.A. City Council members.)

What both of these programs show is the slippery slope that’s been created by allowing years of illegal immigration to occur, leading to advocates for illegal aliens proposing – and often successfully achieving – programs that blur the lines between legal and illegal, right and wrong, good governance and poor governance, reasonable and unreasonable and what’s good for the country and what’s not.

A slippery slope indeed.

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