Paradoxical advocacy positions costly to education
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
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
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
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.