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Illegals: A taxing situationPosted Wednesday, October 24, 2007, at 9:49 AM
âTaxpayer money should not be provided to illegal immigrants,â Republican primary candidate Fred Thompson said Tuesday at a round-table discussion.
The government should yank federal dollars from cities and states that donât report illegal immigrants, Thompson says.
âIn his first major policy proposal, Thompson challenged rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney by criticizing âsanctuary citiesâ where city workers are barred from reporting suspected illegal immigrants who enroll their children in school or seek hospital treatment,â the Associated Press reports.
New York, where Giuliani was mayor, sued the federal government to keep his cityâs sanctuary policy and Romney tolerated sanctuary cities as Massachusettsâ governor, AP reports.
This hits home hard in Shelbyville.
Itâs obvious that Bedford County is full of illegal immigrants. Shelbyville police regularly confiscate fake identifications, police reports show. Someone here legally wouldnât need a fake ID.
And illegals, even if indirectly, benefit from taxpayers' sacrifices.
Should the Bedford County school system and Bedford County Medical Center be reporting suspected illegals? And would any further action be taken? Those few individuals who have reported illegals have said the regional immigration center in Memphis was too overwhelmed to do much of anything.
But reporting illegals would undoubtedly be criticized as âcruelâ or as âprejudiceâ by some.
Itâs hard to criticize illegals without some people claiming prejudice. Anyone in the country legally has every right to be in Bedford County. But laws are laws, and illegals should be removed -- not because of their race, nationality or any other reason except being here illegally.
Except another related issue arises. What about illegal immigrants whose children were born here and are U.S. citizens?
Iâve noticed an increasing number of children with Hispanic names making the honor rolls at local schools. They potentially have bright futures ahead. What happens if their parents are kicked out of the country? They go, too, probably.
Since our tax money was invested in these kids, especially English as a second language programs, shouldnât we get a return on our investment? Iâm not trying to reduce children to monetary figures...their lives and futures are much more important than dollars and cents.
Iâd hate to suggest those children be taken from their parents. But could a program be formed where they could voluntarily stay? Maybe there is such a program which I havenât heard of yet.
I lean toward what I call âcompassionately enforcing the lawâ -- report illegals but make their enforced departure as easy on them as possible. And make sure their innocent children are fully taken care of.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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