The other day, I got an email from Delegate Jackson Miller, trumpeting all the work he is doing to stop illegal immigration. I expected to read that he had taken up personal vigil down on the border considering all the fanfare. Such was not the case. In part, his email stated:
During the 2011 Virginia General Assembly Session, we will be debating many issues that are important to the Commonwealth, but one issue of particular significance to me is illegal immigration. As a former police officer with almost two decades of experience, I have seen firsthand the effect that illegal immigration can have on a community. As your Delegate, I am working hard to find solutions to the many issues and challenges that illegal immigration has presented in our communities and in our Commonwealth.
Recently, I appeared on Fox News Channel’s morning program, Fox & Friends, to defend a bill on which I am a co-patron. This bill, HB1465, (click for full text) stipulates that illegal aliens will not be eligible for admission to Virginia’s colleges and universities. Higher education is a privilege, not a right, and placement in Virginia’s colleges and universities has become increasingly difficult for legal residents of our state to obtain. This bill will require that all prospective students submit appropriate documentation showing proof of citizenship or a student visa for eligibility for enrollment.
Let’s see if I understand this correctly. Miller is attacking illegal immigration by preventing ‘good kids’ from attending college? Isn’t this akin to shooting fish in a barrel? Picking low hanging fruit? As a former police officer, Miller knows what happens with kids when they have no hope or goals. Kids with no hope or goals often drop out of schools, get into trouble or join gangs.
I don’t see him tackling the problem of the hard cases. Instead, Miller is going after the kids who have done the right thing. These kids who are targeted have come here through no fault of their own. They have overcome all odds and have learned English, competed with English-speaking classmates and have suceeded in their coursework. Now Miller wants to not only put an unaffordable price tag on higher education, he wants to prevent them from even registering.
Miller adds further insult by stating that they are lucky to have their k-12 education, thanks to Plyler vs Doe. I don’t think Supreme Court decisions make us lucky. Aren’t they validation of rights already there? Are black student lucky to have Brown vs Board of Eduation? I can’t imagine why any politician would want to limit education.
I don’t get it. At first immigrants were criticized for being uneducated and for not speaking English. Any attempts made by immigrants to overcome ignorance and inability to speak English are apparently not appreciated either. In fact, they are so unappreciated that lawmakers are wasting a short session just to make sure they CANNOT ever attend college. The suggestion made to go back to ‘their country’ and get the documentation is simply disingenuous. It cannot be done. These kids are American. They salute the United States flag. They speak English.
Miller needs to rethink this one. Prince William County and Manassas have all sorts of problems. We have traffic and road problems, commuter problems, and crime that is becoming more urban in nature. Our foreclosure issues are still holding our real estate assessment down. Our county employees haven’t had a raise in 3 years and our classrooms are overcrowded. It’s time to stop kicking around kids who are doing the right thing.
As a police officer, Delegate Jackson Miller should know better. So should his his co-patron. Not Larry Sabato has an interesting spread on Delegate Chris Peace’s illustrious school career. Chris Peace gets to be Weenie of the Week on NLS. It sounds to be like that award should have been a tie.
I am so disappointed.