It is nearly impossible these days to read and listen to the news without seeing increasing evidence of what I refer to as "the Obama-Chafee Agenda" concerning illegal immigration and our education systems. Their agenda is being fueled by incrementalism and enticements – more and more entitlements a little at a time. When the citizens finally realize what has happened, it will be too late to reverse course.
As you can surmise, my frustration level is at an all-time high! I fully intend to remain in the fight, despite the tremendous way the deck seems stacked against us. Here are the some of the ways the deck is stacked:
1) The president favors additional benefits for illegal aliens.
2) All four of our Congressional delegates rubberstamp his intentions.
3) We all know where our so-called governor stands. I wonder if he does.
4) Our Senate president stated to me personally that she believes E-Verify laws are solely meant to discriminate against people with brown skin. This from her firm position under a rock.
5) The Speaker of the House, the most powerful person in our state, guaranteed RIILE last session that E-Verify legislation would receive his full attention and a fair hearing in the Labor Committee only to prevent the legislation from getting a Labor Committee vote after the testimony. There were 10 of 13 Representatives on the committee that stated to RIILE their intention to vote in favor of E-Verify at the hearing.
6) We now have, thanks to complacent Rhode Islanders, a 102 to 11 Democrat majority in our legislature, most of whom do only the Speaker's bidding.
7) We are seriously enticing additional illegal aliens to come to our state to take advantage of the following:
a) Early childhood learning programs for illegal alien students under 5 years old, which is against the law. How many and at what cost?
b) Free K-12 education, no limit on the number of illegal alien students that can arrive next September to enter our school systems. At what cost?
c) In-state tuition for illegal alien students at our state colleges, again against the law.
d) Almost zero enforcement of the immigration laws against employers hiring illegal aliens.
e) Open door policy at our hospitals for illegal alien pregnant women to deliver their babies. DHS had 350 in their system last year. Free pre-natal care, free delivery of the child, free post-partum care and free long-term family planning. Also, there is no limit on the number that can take advantage each year.
f) A health care clinic in our state that just received a $345,000 grant last week announced that it is their intention to provide free health care to illegal aliens.
g) Our governor just agreed to look into driver's licenses for illegal aliens at a rally at our State House, where immigrants and illegal aliens demanded, in a foreign language I might add, that he take this action.
h) The most recent addition to the incrementalism and enticement agenda was reported in the Providence Journal on Monday, Nov. 26, entitled, "Jump start on career training in high school.” While this is an admirable goal in light of the condition of our workforce, should illegal alien students be given this opportunity when they do not qualify by law to work in the U.S.? The program purports to certify its graduates as teaching assistants and give the college bound students the skills they need to support themselves while going to college. Again, this is against the law due to their status. Is there another variation of the failed Dream Act ready to be stuffed down our throats?
What illegal alien worth his salt, seeing all the above benefits, would not be enticed into making Rhode Island an ideal location for his family? How could he/she resist all of the benefits? We already are seeing the chilling effect illegal immigration is having on our state budget. How much more can we sustain without going over our own fiscal cliff? Every Rhode Islander who cares about his/her family, state and country should be at least as frustrated and as outraged as I am. Is it any wonder that illegal aliens look to Rhode Island as a destination state?
I know some would say I might be uncaring and insensitive, but I firmly believe that all of the above reasons detract from the opportunities we are supposed to be providing to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants in our state first. Why are our lawmakers knowingly allowing lawbreakers to continually, flagrantly and with impunity, break our laws, consequently watering-down all of our social services and education systems? Why are we allowing them to do this to us, right in front of our eyes, without even a peep of objection? Remember – "Silence is consent."
Terry Gorman is the executive director of Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement.