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Citizens for Limited Taxation

Listen to the people: Illegal means illegal Friday, May 27, 2005
Michael Sullivan Metrowest Daily News
A curious thing happened after I recently wrote against the state proposal to give illegal aliens in-state tuition at schools.

It wasn't that I heard, sometimes very pointedly, from readers; it was the clear-cut divide their viewpoints presented in an 18-2 split.

Given Massachusetts political leanings, history and track record it was -- to put it mildly -- a great surprise to me how readers responded.

The 18 backed denying illegals in-state tuition vs. the two who supported the proposal.

Not so surprising was the two in favor of the measure -- state Rep. Deborah Blumer, D-Framingham, and Framingham Selectman John Stasik.

Does something in these figures say out to lunch or, in homage to the upcoming Rolling Stones tour, "out of touch my baby" to the elected officials?

I think so.

I'll let everyone speak for themselves:

Stasik: "Illegal, yes, but what choice did they have?...We can't change the fact that there are thousands of illegal aliens in this country today."

Blumer: "It is unfortunate that some people have chosen to scapegoat a small group of young people -- and to inflame a discussion with misinformation."

In this corner, the readers:

Charles: "This is a (severe) problem and unfortunately our local and national legislators are not willing to address."

David: "Compassion should be reserved for the law-abiding."

Patty: "What about legal residents who can't afford the in-state tuition? Should we lower it for them."

Matt: "The fact that this proposal (in-state tuition) is even being discussed is repulsive."

Get the drift, politicians?

A few decades ago, these readers might have been called the Silent Majority.

In response to Stasik and Blumer, I would say illegals had a choice: stay home.  Yes, I would make it more difficult for illegals in everything from work to driver's licenses.

The underlying illegal act, to me, voids their right to pretty much everything except a plane ticket home, at their expense or that of their government.

Note, this is not anti-immigration, just anti-illegal immigration.

Telling any illegal to come on down now and say you want to be a legal resident or citizen is a cop-out: they could have done that first.  Your position and that of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy are back-door legislative tricks.

You are right, Mr. Stasik, in that there are thousands of illegals here, and you sound like you have given up.

God knows the federal government has been hopeless in controlling the borders, and local communities are left with a multitude of problems.

Illegal workers keep wages down, likely rely on a hospital emergency room for primary care, drive illegally (most likely without insurance) and, before getting to university, are part of the high school population.

Talk to any homeowner in MetroWest about their rising property taxes to fuel the schools insatiable craving for cash.

Perhaps we could get an "illegal student rebate" on our taxes.  Payments to fund it would be made by politicians -- out of their own pockets -- from local to state level who support granting illegals in-state tuition, driver's licenses, etc.

Two steps I think are practical and doable.

Although I know the police are overburdened, when an illegal is picked up for any reason, they could be photographed and fingerprinted for a database.

That way they are on file if the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Homeland Security folks ever get their act together.

It also may help get a better handle on how big the problem is.

If an illegal driver is stopped, the vehicle would be towed and impounded.

This could be tied in with the Click It or Ticket campaign aimed at seat belt use.  It could be renamed "Click It, Ticket and Prove It."

We can -- if you have your way, Stasik and Blumer -- be a state where you are ticketed for not using a seat belt but get a pass on being illegal. Boy, don't you want your name on that legislation.

Perhaps as a Framingham selectman, Mr. Stasik, you could work a deal with Adesa for storage.  This would be a self-supporting program, a bit like pay-as-you-throw trash plans.

There would be a towing fee and daily impound fees to cover costs.  There also could be a "processing" fee for the illegal to be entered into the new database.

If the car is legally registered, the owner could claim it, pay the fees, and drive home.  If an unregistered vehicle is impounded, it would be sold.

Any excess money would go to a charity of the police department's choice.

The bottom line is start making it less comfortable -- not more comfortable -- for illegal aliens.

I imagine the word would begin to spread once names, photos and fingerprints go into a database and vehicles are pulled off the road.

This is not discrimination: This is called law and order.

If you give up on this, what's the next law you want to give up on?

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com