Paradoxical advocacy positions costly to education
Arizona Republic
Jul. 5, 2006

The lively discussions in the Southeast Valley and elsewhere about education spending and illegal immigration reveal a strange paradox.

The groups who complain about low per capita spending for education and other social programs are the same groups who support illegal immigration and open borders. These positions are in total financial opposition to each other.

For starters, there is their continual push for more bilingual education money and their fear that most Hispanic students won't pass the AIMS test.
The most obvious fact these groups ignore is virtually all these students are illegal aliens or the children of illegal aliens. This is a direct result of the illegal immigration advocacy groups' resistance to a secure border and internal enforcement.

However, increased spending for English learners is only the beginning of the contradictions. The real absurdity is the same people and groups that support illegal immigration are the same people who advocate taxpayer-funded all-day kindergarten and taxpayer-funded preschool; the same people who complain schools are underfunded; the people who allege that our educational spending per child is near the bottom tier; and the same people who lament low teacher pay.

They are also the same people who complain about poor children lacking health insurance and social services; the groups who complain about low wages in our state; who constantly trumpet Arizona's low rank in average income; and who clamor for a state minimum wage.

Now, the rational and honest among us can easily see the financial clashes.
The money spent on Spanish bilingual programs and social services for illegal immigrants could be used for all-day kindergarten, statewide preschool, child social services, and increased teacher pay.

But, there will never be enough money for all these programs, even if everyone agreed with them. Open-border supporters are incapable of realizing this.

Likewise, common-sense individuals readily grasp the negative effect illegal aliens have on wages. It's easy for us to understand that huge numbers of illegal workers accepting significantly lower pay will seriously depress salaries.

We recognize that the housing industry proved illegal immigrant labor doesn't produce lower prices for products. By 2002, virtually all Valley homebuilding crews were composed largely of illegal workers, yet Valley home prices have almost doubled since then.

Similarly, we recognize the prices of other big-ticket items in industries that don't hire illegal aliens, like automobiles, didn't experience large price hikes during the same period. The obvious meaning of these facts is lost on the illegal-immigration advocates.

It has become imperative that rational people realize groups lobbying for both improved education/social resources and illegal immigration can't understand the incongruous nature of their crusades.

The sane among us have a responsibility to oppose them and stop our tax money from being thrown away on paradoxical advocacy positions.

Fred Pinkney is a former Air Force health care administrator. He and his
wife moved to Gilbert in 1997.