My husband, Darrell, was beside himself. What’s up with this? We have a son about to enter the Denver Public Schools and here they are banning employees from travelling to Arizona because of opposition to the new immigration law. He was fuming. Don’t they have more important things to worry about (like higher graduation rates?) He even called KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman radio show to vent. I tried to rationalize the decision. Perhaps they didn’t want their employees to be harassed or racially profiled, or they were being considerate of their large Hispanic population, or it was a pre-emptive strike because Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis was already threatening to do something similar in Colorado if elected. It may be a misguided protest, I told him, but the Denver Public Schools took a stand for human rights. My husband, on the other hand, felt that by standing up in this way, DPS was supporting illegal immigration. And what business was it of the Denver Public Schools anyway? It’s an Arizona law. The majority of Arizonans support it. He continues to be apoplectic.
I certainly can appreciate his frustration and Arizona’s too. The state has become a revolving door for illegal immigrants. But as difficult as it may be, in my opinion it is the federal government that should be coming up with a policy for dealing with this, not individual states. Perhaps the best thing that came of Arizona’s law is that it reminded President Obama and Congress of how urgent this problem has become and of the fact that the states have lost hope that the federal government will ever deal with the situation. Comprehensive immigration reform has gone to the back burner and even if it suddenly becomes a priority, which is doubtful because mid-term elections are coming up and this is so fractious, Republicans and Democrats will drag the country through another agonizing process even as we heal from the health care debate and illegal immigrants stream across the border. Unless the federal government mobilizes soon states will take matters into their own hands. And so will Denver Public Schools which, in my husband’s opinion, should be worrying about education.
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One thought on “Denver Public Schools Takes a Stand”
Most people in America aren’t against immigration; they’re just against illegal immigration. For example, like most of our ancestors, my mother’s parents were immigrants. They came through Ellis Island and followed the various legal steps required in order to establish themselves as true citizens of this country. The immigrants crossing the Mexican border, however, have absolutely no interest in following these legal protocols. Once they cross the border, they change their names and/or purchase social security numbers in an effort to conceal their true identities from the law. It is not uncommon for an illegal immigrant to purchase not one, but two or more social security numbers, just in case one is flagged. I have witnessed this crime with my own eyes. (One day, a supposedly legal immigrant was asked to give their social security card to a receptionist for a job application and an interview. When the receptionist happened to ask to see the card a second time, the immigrant mistakenly handed over a different social security card with the same name on it, but with a completely different set of numbers…)
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against Hispanics. I have many Hispanic friends, but they either have green cards to work in the United States or have become legal citizens. They decided to follow the rule of law and work within the boundaries of our legal system. Unfortunately, many immigrants do not, and it those particular individuals that we are most concerned about.
Now it seems that those who sympathize with illegal immigrants wish to hijack the discussion of reform by attacking the law recently imposed by the State of Arizona through protests and boycotts; a state mind you, that has been besieged with crime, drugs and an ever-increasing population of illegal immigrants. Don’t allow them this option. Speak out and take action. This is your country… fight for it.
In closing, I consider myself to be a bleeding-heart liberal: a Democrat. My ancestor, Roger Williams – one of our founding fathers, was one too; regarding the acceptance of different nationalities, cultures and religions as the vitality and lifeblood of any country. Nevertheless, I think that he would agree with me; that immigrants wishing to become legal citizens have not only the obligation, but the civil and legal responsibility to follow the rules of law established by any country in which they wish to become authentic citizens, just as our ancestors – both yours and mine – struggled so arduously and righteously to achieve.