I'm sorry, was there a debate? Dang! Missed another one.
Sleepy Ted Kulongoski who is famous for not doing anything in Oregon and publicly commenting that he does not have time for debates held true to his word on March 13, 2006 when six of the seven major candidates for governor met Monday to debate in Salem without the governor.
The debate, sponsored by the Associated Press Newspaper Executives at Willamette University
Oregonian reporter Harry Esteve read a question from the audience...
" Should we as a community provide education to the children of illegal immigrants?"
The response from the candidates were…
Ben Westlund: "Absolutely. I'm trying to save time there. No ifs, no ands, no discussion. Without question."
Pete Sorenson: "Oregon's constitution provides for free public education [with our tax dollars] for anyone in our state. I favor that and beyond that I also favor a ballot measure that would make health care an equal right."
Ron Saxton: "This is about meeting the needs of our citizens. This is about honoring and respecting those who are here legally. When we have a society that draws no distinctions between people who are here legally and people who are here illegally, we make a mockery of those who have complied with the law, those who have come into the system legally."
Kevin Mannix: "This question was about children. This wasn't about adults. As adults we don't want to give taxpayer subsidy and encouragement to folks to be here illegally. But do you say that to a child? Where do we draw the line? If you saw someone bleeding in the center of the road, would you run out there and say show me you identity card before I render assistance." that is a cold heartless comparison. The point is about illegal immigration, not being a cold heartless person. (See my comment below about children)
Jim Hill: "It's wrong and immoral to talk about not giving children services. When people are born in this country, I think they're Americans and they have all the rights that Americans should have and all the privileges that Americans should have."
Jason Atkinson: "The problem is that children who are here, whose parents were illegal immigrants, are typically citizens of the United States of America. And so are we going to deny someone and education because of the color of their skin? The answer certainly is not."
Jason Atkinson makes an excellent point.
One of the claims for people coming here illegally is to make a better lives for themselves... but what about their children?
I recall a story where this young girl tried to enter college after high school and the college asked her for her immigration papers and when she asked her parents for the documents, is when she found out that her parents entered the country illegally when she was very young.
Imagine the dilemma that this child has been placed into. If I was in a similar situation, I would be devastated.
So the debate is, did the parents actually do the child a favor by bringing her over here illegally or were the motives totally selfish?
As far as Jason Atkinson statement, "... are we going to deny someone education because of the color of their skin?"
I agree with Jason that the color of one's skin should not be a factor for education, however, I do feel that legality should be a factor on who PAYS for that child's education.
It is not uncommon for other countries to send their children to the United States for education. However, they are normally picking up the tab for that education, not the taxpayers.