Immigration is the hot button issue of the California campaign, and Meg Whitman takes the hard stance while still courting Latino voters. But for a candidate who claims to be 'pro-family', she has a really strange and weird attitude toward the achievers who, through no fault of their own, came to California illegally and have not been able to resolve their immigration status.
Yesterday's debate between Brown and Whitman in Fresno highlighted one of the clearest-cut cases of our unfair immigration policies and how stupid Whitman is about these students.
MES: YOUR TIME IS UP MR. BROWN. IN CALIFORNIA ALMOST HALF A MILLION YOUNG UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS COULD LEGALIZE THEIR STATUS AND ASPIRE TO A COLLEGE EDUCATION IF THE SO-CALLED DREAM ACT WERE PASSED AT A FEDERAL LEVEL. WE HAVE A QUESTION ON THE SUBJECT FROM OUR AUDIENCE. LET'S GO NOW TO SAYRA VASQUEZ.
SV: Thank you Maria and good afternoon, yes with me I have a student from here from the University of the State of California with a question for both candidates. I am a student in the university and I was brought here when I was a child by my parents and I was educated here. I graduated from high school. I was number one in my class. I am about to graduate from the Fresco State University with honors and with three majors, political science, Latin-American studies and Spanish. Simultaneously the same problem that other students have, I have it. When I graduate I will not be able to exercise my career and hence I will not be able to contribute with all my potential to the economy of this state. My question for you is the following. As governor of the State of California would you support, yes or no, the Dream Act, the federal Dream Act that would help students that are in my same situation and place to get, be on the path to legalization? Thank you.
MES: MR. BROWN?
JB: Yes, to the federal Dream Act which I can't do anything about, except advocate and yes, to the state Dream Act which I can do something about because our current governor just vetoed a proposal and I would have signed that bill. Now Ms. Whitman goes beyond opposing the Dream Act, she wants to kick you out of this school because you are not documented and that is wrong, morally and humanly.
MES: MS. WHITMAN?
MW: Well first of all I am so pleased by your success and you were able to get a kindergarten through 12 grade education system in California even though you are undocumented.
Snarky tone aside, this statement acknowledges that California taxpayers have made an investment in this student's education for the past 12 years, and the investment has proven itself worthy. This is the kind of student every teacher wants -- one who works hard, is about to graduate with a triple major, and has much to give back to taxpayers who made that investment.
However, Whitman's position on immigration is so utterly bankrupt that she's perfectly okay with throwing all of it away.
But here is the challenge we face. Our resources are scarce. We are in terrible economic times and slots have been eliminated at the California State University system. I think they're down by 40,000 students. The same is true at the CSU and the University of California system. Programs have been cut and California citizens have been denied admission to these universities and I don't think it's fair to bar and eliminate you know the ability of California citizens to attend higher universities and favor undocumenteds. This is a very tough situation. But I don't think it's fair to the people who are here in California legally so I would not be for the California Dream Act and for the federal Dream Act. It is only a partial salve to a very challenging situation and I don't think we can carve out a group of illegal immigrants and give them a path to citizenship when we haven't sorted out our control of our borders and getting our arms around illegal immigration. So I would say no to both.
First, Whitman doesn't answer the question. This student has already completed most of her education. She's about to graduate. Her question is about working after she graduates, not about attending a California university. She's already done that. She's paid her fees, she's studied and she's graduating with honors. If she were here legally, employers would be outbidding each other for the right to hire her. Unemployment would not be her problem.
But she is undocumented. Never mind that she's not a lawbreaker, that she's not a drain on system resources (university students pay their way), that she's got an amazing intellect and ability to excel. Never mind all that. She's undocumented and so Whitman takes the same attitude she took with her housekeeper: You never knew me and I never knew you.
It's stupid. It's stupid to take a 16-year investment in this student's education and toss it away because her parents chose to come to this country to bend over and break their backs in fields in all sorts of weather --hot, freezing, wet -- and put their children in school and made them actually work in school and obey laws so that Whitman could tell her, "Oops, sorry, you can't work here. Take your taxpayer-paid education and head on back to Mexico."
There's no sense in that. Beyond the cruelty of Whitman's statements, it's just stupid. It's a ridiculous waste of taxpayers' money to send this student back to Mexico to work.
On the other hand, Whitman seems to know what it means to waste money. $120 million so far on a campaign to nowhere. Her bankrupt outlook has no business in California. None.