As a Democrat, the problem really hits me between the eyes! Most if not all Democrats running for the Presidency want to go for "comprehensive immigration reform"—which means a huge new amnesty for illegal aliens, and a likely free pass for many more in just a few years.
Fierce arguments against this amnesty legislation are coming from everywhere—Hazleton, PA, Newark, NJ, Arizona, as the tragedies from illegal alien crimes are being recorded regularly. But still no action from our Federal Government, except the promise of more alien leniency by too many in both parties. Maybe the Iraq mess has sucked the air out of everything.
But on the home front, where ordinary Americans live and work, the evolving story gets very sad—and very urgent.
Let me give but one small example, which I learned about from my son, a 52 year old electronic engineer, living with his family in a suburb of Atlanta. Two kids in school, a sizable mortgage and being on the cutline age-wise for outsourcing all make him and his wife keenly aware of the stress that immigration is imposing on their local area.
Let me tell you his story with his statistics. He is very adroit with numbers and has done his homework. What he reports is in the public record. While immigration enthusiasts see endless good in endless newcomers, real people in real life—not our elected officials in Washington, you know, the ones throwing our tax dollars away in Iraq or on boondoggles like the Bridge to Nowhere—can plainly observe the effect of immigration on their families.
His example: In Gwinnett Schools: Trailing Behind Growth, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report by Laura Diamond (September 9th, 2007) showed one quarter of the schools in his district are 20% or more overcrowded—causing these districts to park students in some 1376 trailers.
My depression-scarred generation had permanent structures—not always perfect, but not trailers.
Georgia was the fourth fastest growing state in the United States, and accounted for the fourth largest increase in numerical population size.
Many of these newcomers are illegal. And they bring in kids which the system gets to absorb. But our tracking systems at every level are so bad that we can't know exactly how many are illegal—which of course is just what the Open Borders lobbyists want.
The US needs to get a handle on these numbers. Estimates as wide as 12 to 20 million illegal aliens here are simply unacceptable.
My son has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta since 1991, a period of 16 years. During that time the State of Georgia has added more trailers to our schools, gridlock to our commutes, sprawl to the beautiful countryside, air pollution to the skyline, and taxes.
And so it has gone all over the USA's urban areas.
His Senator Saxby Chambliss writes, "Immigration reform is the most important issue facing our nation today." My son was impressed that he and Senator Isakson helped defeat the Amnesty/Immigration Surge Bill S. 1639. But the pressure from the grass roots could have well been more important than their real convictions. Georgians and all Americans better keep on top of them and their cohorts in the US House of Representatives.
For example, right now, as you may be aware, the Congress is at it again, despite the defeat of S1639 on June 28th. This time the House of Representatives is hard at work trying to slip another open border bill through, the upcoming Flake-Gutierrez amnesty bill H.R. 1645 (otherwise known as the STRIVE Act).
Look at the numbers this engineer has assembled for the State of Georgia. SEE TABLE
Which means we are talking about more tax monies needed for education.
If I were a Georgian and I had kids in this overcrowded system, I am not going to want another 100 million people added to the USA in the next 50 years. Bu this is what is projected by the Center for Immigration Studies, using updated US Census Bureau data. We know we have plenty of people now.
Thomas Jefferson and many others have warned about the danger to our democracy if we do not keep the education level of our populace high. Good educational opportunities for everyone remains at the heart of not only keeping our democracy, but our technological lead as the world industrializes and the competition gets keener and keener.
Parents know this and are frightened by the trends they see in situations such as exists in Georgia.
Folks, The US Chamber of Commerce, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Hispanic lobbying organizations such as LULAC, La Raza and others insist the US needs to add millions of illegal aliens to our population.
But if you really care about the quality of your children's education, you must disagree.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.