One Man's View
It has come to my attention that doing what is right is no longer standard operation here in Oregon, or perhaps in the United States. When did it become acceptable to be untruthful with your employer, with constituents, with everyone in general? How did we get to the point that it is okay to be here in the United States illegally receive benefits, feel that you are owed a driver's license and social security and in state tuition?
It is true - I struggle with this approach. After ten years of pushing for instate tuition for student aged children who were brought here illegally by their parents, that legislation has passed through the House and is headed for the Senate Floor. I have little hope that it will be stopped in that section of the Capitol.
"FAIR estimates that illegal immigration costs taxpayers in Oregon about $1 billion annually. The average Oregon household headed by a U.S. citizen bears an annual burden of more than $700 to cover the costs associated with illegal aliens in the state - this while the governor and legislators are supposedly looking for ways to cut unnecessary spending.
The cost of providing K-12 education to the children of illegal aliens (including students who are themselves illegal and the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens) amounts to $575 million annually. Additionally, the cost of supplemental English language instruction is $159 million a year. Unreimbursed health care and social assistance programs cost Oregonians $92 million a year. Justice and law enforcement costs associated with illegal aliens add $140 million to the state's tab. The cost of general public services provided to Oregon's 170,000 illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children adds $79 million a year to the state's costs. " Forest Grove News-Time 1-9-2013
The claim on returning driver's licenses to them is that the drivers will be legally licensed to drive and they will buy insurance. So explain to me why anyone who is okay with being here illegally, is working illegally, is going to suddenly obey the law and buy insurance? I imagine there will be some but certainly it is not, all of a sudden, going to make our roads safer because everyone is insured.
The illegal immigrant situation is truly a national issue and must be solved at that level - however it impacts the states directly every day. It is refreshing to see our nationally elected officials talking about solutions and looking to solve the issue. In the meantime, states are dealing with issues of education, driver's licenses, employers and employees, state benefits such as food stamps, child care, health care and all the expense thereof.
There is no easy answer - no easy fix but it is time to be looking seriously at taking some steps toward solving the issue. E-verify for employers, deportation for illegals with criminal records, insisting that English is spoken in our schools and places of business. This will only come when we force the responsibility where it belongs and giving benefits to illegals is not the answer. Awarding individuals for wrong doing is not the way we encourage good citizenship or, for that matter, even proper behavior.