One can see that this is for "discussion" purposes, but the nativist rhetoric is deafening. I am third-generation, U.S. born Mexican American and I am very offended by this. The newspaper, El Editor, wants discussion. I hope that this press is hearing about the stories and lives of those who come to this country out of sheer desperation, frequently escaping environmental and economic conditions that no one should suffer--a condition that Mr. Fobbs cannot begin to fathom. I hope the readership comes across The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants? by Juan Hernandez instead of the hostile and inflammatory language that this opinion represents. -Angela
Posted on 08-13-2006
America's News Alamo -- We Must Not Lose Again
This commentary is being posted for discussion purposes.
Almost two centuries ago, a small band of national patriots joined Texans to launch a battle for freedom and sent a unifying rallying cry through out our nation “Remember The Alamo!”
Our nation is being threatened by a new Alamo, and the army is between 12 million and 20 million strong. The army is one that is creeping, walking, swimming and being driven in shadowy caravans across our nation’s state borders. Instead of being armed with weapons of violence, this army is simply overwhelming American health care, education, and justice systems by refusing to enter our country legally, but the damage being inflicted is real just the same.
Texas and other southern state border residents have been feeling the impact of this invasion for decades on their health care systems. For example, Parkland Memorial Hospital – the same historic Dallas, Texas hospital where doctors worked feverishly to save President John F. Kennedy’s life in 1963 is in the midst of a multi-million dollar budgetary meltdown. Hospital officials estimate that approximately 11,500 anchor babies being born to poor and uninsured illegal aliens coming through its doors are threatening it with millions of dollars of non-reimbursable costs and could well place it on budgetary life support due to ongoing escalating taxpayer subsidized care.
How would you feel, as a dad or mom as you rush your daughter or son to emergency care at Parkland -- or any neighborhood hospital -- expecting to receive quick professional health care for your toddler or young one, to be faced upon arrival with a hospital emergency room wait for hours only to learn eventually that your young one cannot be treated and must go elsewhere because there are literally dozens of illegals ahead of you? You’re just plain out of luck because people who are not even here legally have first precedence? Or worse yet, if you are in your car racing an expectant mother to the hospital only to find out that there’s no room at the inn and you better look elsewhere, because there are almost 11,000 illegal anchor babies and their illegal mommies ahead of you. How would you feel then?
This sounds tragically sad. Yet it can and does get sadder.
Last year, Dr. Madeleine Pelner Cosman authored a very critically acclaimed report in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons that exposed the dramatic costs and impact of illegal aliens on our American health care system. Her results were stunning. Cosman found that 84 hospitals were shutting their doors directly due to the exponential increase in illegal aliens giving births to anchor babies. Some try to shrug off the notion the families are illegal, saying that they are cheap labor who work to keep our produce prices down.
“There are uncalculated costs involved in the importation of such labor –- public support and uninsured medical costs -- by spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America’s prized health-care system,” noted Dr. Cosman, who died earlier this year.
Cosman also pointed out some very disturbing facts, “many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease."
Is America and its healthcare system willing to be destroyed slowly from within, only to succumb to another type of Alamo -- a battle that is entirely preventable? The answer has to be yes. The consequences are too dire to consider otherwise. But there is another preventable notch in the Alamo belt and it directly impacts our children’s education; it necessitates a parental call to arms.
This new call to arms should be blaring loudly in PTA meetings dotting the landscape of our nation. From elementary schools, middle schools and high school meeting rooms across America, parents are tackling their children’s educational program budget cuts and after-school events being slashed or shut down, while much-needed tax dollars are being spent on illegal alien children because of an ill-conceived 1982 U.S. Supreme Court Case called. Plyer v. Doe.
The Plyer v. Doe decision created a U.S. Constitutional Equal Protection right for illegal aliens that is not found in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. By fabricating a right for illegal aliens, it snatched away a right of our own children’s equal protection. After 24 years with illegal aliens and their children crushing our state and local education budgets, we must correct this misdirected and misapplied constitutional decision by the U.S. Supreme Court by going to the heart of the Plyer v. Doe decision. And America will do it.
The economic impact of this decision is staggering. It is annually costing American kids and their families billions! According to the Federation for Immigration Reform, “The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants costs the states nearly $12 billion annually, and when the children born here to illegal aliens are added, the costs more than double to $28.6 billion.”
For example, children of illegal immigrants in California, who represent nearly 15% of the kindergarten through 12th grade public school students, are costing PTA parents and other taxpayers $2.2 billion annually to educate illegal immigrant students in those grades. That’s enough to pay the salaries of 41,764 teachers, or 14% of California's teachers!
Our America is being taken apart, state-by-state, city-by-city, school-by-school, hospital-by-hospital and job-by-job. Meanwhile, we willingly extend an olive branch because we have been convinced, tricked, hoodwinked, or guilt-tripped into believing that as a nation of immigrants we are supposed to open our outstretched arms to all, including those millions who willingly break our legal immigration laws.
That is not the American Way, nor is it the American Dream that our children should be forced to accept. True, we are a nation built upon legal immigrants who are proud to have sacrificed much, fought against all odds in many ways and abided by the rules so the nectar of the American Dream would be that much sweeter, that much more meaningful and that much more satisfying because the legal immigrant followed the rules and proudly swore allegiance to his or her new nation.
Instead, that noble concept of the American Dream has been hijacked in plain view and in sight of every American who takes the time to look up and see we are being told our laws, which protect our citizens and legal immigrants alike, should be stretched and compromised to fit the illegal alien who boldly crosses the border and brings along his pregnant wife and children.
This twisted notion is to apply for everything with a double standard because the illegal alien from Mexico knows that he will be fed, clothed, educated, employed -- and even defended -- because our nation of laws and rules don’t apply to him and his fellow illegals. The exception, of course, is if the immigrant has the individual or collective misfortune to been found at our borders originating illegally from countries like Haiti, China, Africa, India, Italy, or any other nation.
But this protected class of illegals -- otherwise known as criminals -- gladly expects our nation to use its city budgets to take money away from our kids’ classrooms, take housing dollars away from our own poor or our own hard-working single-parent households, who live from paycheck to paycheck and who also have a dream -- yes, a legitimate American Dream, backed by the Constitution and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, that if their American-born or legally naturalized son or daughter studies hard enough, works hard enough and keeps his or her grades high, he may have the opportunity to go to college or to a trade school, or own and build a small business.
But, not so fast…there’s more!
The U.S. Senate “Dream Act” which is advocated by the National Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and by the Act’s chief proponent, National La Raza (The Race), believe your child may have to give up his or her getting into the college of choice so the illegal alien student can go to the head of the class and get the benefits that he and his parents feel he deserves: scholarships, tuition credits, preferences, etc. because, after all, he kept his nose clean and didn’t get into trouble; i.e. he and his parents were able artfully to dodge the INS while here illegally. I ask you, should that accomplishment be rewarded while legal American children struggle on the sidelines, again being put out of line?
So, what are we left with?
Tax payers throughout America who are being asked to support illegal alien children who, along with their parents, were able to dodge the INS and enroll in American public schools. Local school officials are forced to deal with a large population of children who do not speak english, nor do they possess legal documentation required of American-born or legally naturalized citizens; and local doctors and nurses are required to treat illegal aliens, but cannot not tell INS that they were treating these illegals. They are all being told, that ethically or morally, one set of rules apply for our American kids and their parents and another set of fabricated morality rules apply for families and kids who, after all, are really invisible because they really aren’t here, according to the school officials who can’t report them and the doctors, nurses, social workers and all the other “officials” who they come across in their daily and weekly coming and going.
Where is the equal protection for the parents and the families of Americans? Where is our American “Dream Act” if it is not found in our U.S. Constitution?
There is a solution to this nightmarish attack upon our nation, and it is born out of Section One of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” It must be fully addressed now.
The 1982 U.S. Supreme Court Plyer v. Doe decision is a companion piece to this crisis and must also be readdressed and overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The outcome would result in that the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution will again truly apply to its citizens and will allow for the renewed preservation of America’s educational integrity. The new result in Plyer v. Doe would erase the Burger Court surrender of the U.S. Constitution to political correctness at the Constitution’s expense.
Former president Teddy Roosevelt is a favorite of many Americans, and he put it so succinctly almost 100 years ago, at the height of the mass European immigration. He said very poignantly “In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else.”
Coming to America in “good faith” is key to President Roosevelt’s remarks, because to do less -- by coming under anything less than legal means -- is to disrespect our nation and its good charitable will.
Roosevelt went on to say, “Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.”
The illegal alien, who comes across our borders under a cloud of shadows, owes his or her allegiance to his country of origin and therefore America must draw the line in the sand between the notion that our citizenship, our borders, and our nation’s national language -- as well as our sovereignty -- is not up for barter, nor compromise, nor open to shadows.
So, let’s send a unifying rallying cry through out our nation: “Remember The Alamo!” We must not lose again, because our future depends upon it.
Kevin Fobbs is President of National Urban Policy Action Council (NuPac). View NuPac on the web at www.nupac.info .
Kevin Fobbs is a regular contributing columnist to the Detroit News. He is also the host of The Kevin Fobbs Show -- see www.kevinfobbs.com . Write him at email@example.com.