….but where was the Juice?
The Rural Women’s Republican Club did us all a great service by hosting an informative debate last night between Del. Patrick McDonough (a leader, along with Del. Neil Parrott, of the highly successful petition drive to get the issue on the ballot for voters to decide) and PJ Hogan, a former Democrat State Senator from Montgomery County and now the chief lobbyist for the University of Maryland system (according to the Washington Post).
My recommendation is that this format was so useful to me and all those I spoke with, that such information-style “debates” should be replicated across the state.
Perhaps one of the most talked-about subjects as people mingled after the meeting was — so where were the Maryland Juicers, where was David Moon, the blogger urging all those in favor of taxpayer subsidies for illegal aliens to attend?
As we saw in my previous post where St. Mary’s College professor Todd Eberly is quoted as saying—the illegal immigration issue “resonates” in Maryland, the issue of instate tuition for illegals resonated last night! If there was one Juicer there, he or she remained silent as the polite crowd occasionally clapped for some zinger or humorous quip from Del. McDonough.
Hogan may not have been the right choice as a debating partner because he came across, at least to me, as an affable fellow who didn’t have his heart in his support of what was characterized by both sides as a piece of legislation that is truly a hodge-podge of confusing and unenforceable requirements with questionable legal mandates.
All in all, I think the audience members (I’m guessing 80-100 attendees, some having traveled long distances) went away better informed and more able to discuss the legislation with their friends and neighbors in advance of a referendum vote in 2012 (assuming the hard Left, led by Joseph “the silencer” Sandler and Gustavo “Sandinista” Torres doesn’t succeed in killing the citizens’ opportunity to vote in the courts).
Here are just some of the topics raised (that interested me enough to note!):
* How is it possible that an illegal alien can file a tax return (and they can file even without paying any taxes)? They can and they do, although it’s technically illegal. BTW, the IRS does not share information with ICE. Again, one does not have to have paid taxes to receive college tuition benefits through this law.
* How does a college degree get someone on the path to citizenship? It doesn’t, there isn’t a path to citizenship for illegal aliens at this time (that is what the national amnesty debate is all about), and the suggestion in this law that there is, is window dressing and in there simply to make Marylanders feel good.
* Will the implementation of this law serve as a magnet to other illegal aliens to come to Maryland? Yes, obviously, and as McDonough said it would continue to make Maryland the “Disneyland” for illegals.
* Can this law (with all its supposed “hoops” and hurdles) be changed (watered down) in future legislatures which could drop the “hoops?” Yes, indeed.
* Do Maryland colleges now ask for immigration status of incoming students? Hogan said yes, but they don’t verify it if one checks the ‘yes, I’m a citizen’ box on the college application. McDonough reminded the audience of the lawsuit in Montgomery County where it was learned that the county had been subsidizing illegal alien students for years. So much for asking immigration status.
* Can one get around the three years in high school requirement with a GED? Yes, one could be an illegal alien who is any age, get a GED and then expect a taxpayer subsidized college education. (But that person could not legally work afterward).
* Will the illegal alien students compete for slots Maryland students would like to get? Hogan said No, that they will take slots available for out of state students. But, as McDonough pointed out those ‘out of state’ students pay much higher tuition rates, so in the long run the cost to Maryland taxpayers will rise to cover the diminished number of ‘out of state’ students.
* Could one become a “taxpaying” legal guardian simply by “adopting” an illegal alien student of say 18 years old? Yes.
* Is there any mechanism in the law (or funding) for fraud prevention, or punishment for fraud? Nope!
* Is this law going to be used to enhance the “diversity” quotas that Maryland colleges are now shooting for? Hogan said no (but acted like he didn’t fully understand the question), they have all the “diversity” applications they need without these new illegal students, he said.
Let me remind readers that on this last point (and the one above about the check-off box on the application) we learned back in May (from Fox News) that indeed the College Park branch of the University of Maryland was already sneaking in a few “undocumented” students as a way to enhance the college’s diversity quota:
University of Maryland (College Park) computer science Prof. James Purtilo told FoxNews.com that, during his time as an associate dean, he frequently saw admission officers favor students because of their “undocumented” status.
“They favor students with special circumstances. ‘Undocumented alien’ would be one of these special circumstances… They help fill out the diversity picture for the admissions office.”
“It was just the norm,” Purtillo added, “that obviously we need more of these students [undocumented aliens]… ‘this student has a real story to tell’ would be a common thing the admissions officers would say. Or that ‘they’re enriching the College Park experience.'”
There were many more questions asked and answered in the very ably-moderated debate, but those (above) are topics that I noted.
Everyone should encourage their local tea party or other conservative group to hold such an event!
Oops! I almost forgot. One of the best questions of the night was directed at both debaters—name one good thing about this law. Hogan talked about how poor kids could get to college. I wondered (as I suspect everyone in the audience wondered), what on earth would McDonough find good about it. LOL! He said the one good thing was that it had woken the sleeping giant (the citizenry) and shaken up the Maryland establishment!