UA needs to be held accountable
Thanks for the outstanding coverage of the continuing fiasco at the University of Arkansas with Chancellor David Gearhart and his personal PR minion Mike Masterson. I have attempted numerous times to contact the president of the University of Arkansas System as well as members of the Board of Trustees about this matter but not surprisingly no one responded.
As an alumni of the U of A Fayetteville I will not donate another dollar to the institution until Gearhart is gone. These administrators need to understand that they are accountable to the people of Arkansas, and the Board of Trustees and the Arkansas legislature needs to understand that as well.
Sam Seamons doesn't get this issue regarding the Mount St. Mary's firing of Tippi McCullough. It's not a matter of expecting the Roman Catholic Church to change its teachings on human sexuality based on how current culture has changed its views, as Seamons posits it. It's the hypocrisy of the deep, abiding and long continuing cover-up by the church all the way up to the Pope of aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of children by priests for decades, while firing a lesbian teacher for getting married on the other. That's what most of us are finding so blatantly wrong with this picture. Change the church's views on human sexuality? The church appears to a lot of us to merely pick and choose which human sexuality it chooses to abide or not. It just depends on who is calling the shots. Sexual abuse of children by priests? Hey, you get to keep your job! We'll promote you even. A lesbian marriage? You're fired.
David H. Williams
Immigration reform proposal
With all the talk about immigration reform, it is evident that America needs an "American Party" compromise on illegal aliens.
A true compromise would provide no path to citizenship for the parents, who many consider economical criminals. Instead, let them register and pay taxes for a "Red Card/Visa" that won't provide a path to a Green Card. It would provide limited civil rights — pay taxes and fines or be deported! This plan would give them a deferment on being deported until their kids born in the U.S. are 21 with immediate deportation if they are convicted of any crime. It would provide for immediate deportation if they don't pay taxes or are unemployed for six months are longer.
Give the DREAM ACT kids who graduate high school in the U.S. a "Yellow Card/Visa" that gives them 12 years to pay back taxes and fines before they can apply for a Green Card. After another 12 years, they can apply for citizenship. Any Dream Act visa holder would get an immediate Green Card if they joined the military, became a cop/INS officer/firefighter, or graduated college with a master's degree in certain high need fields or agrees to work some many years in a remote location, sort of like rural communities paying to send doctors to med school if they will work there after graduation.
The plan would provide U.S. citizenship to any military member wounded or killed in the line of duty, and move the others to the top of the line to apply for citizenship after six years.
They too would face deportation for not paying taxes, criminal convictions or unemployment lasting longer than a year, with a few exceptions.
In short, a plan that registers the people that ICE can't seem to deport, gets the illegal aliens paying taxes, provides a legal status that doesn't provide the welfare benefits that Green Card holders get after five years, and provides a residency "death penalty" for certain situations. But it also provides a reward for education and career choices.
Facts versus chain e-mails
I am a third-year law student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where I participate in the law school's pro bono immigration legal clinic as a student attorney. Prior to participating in the school's immigration clinic, I admit I held many of the same personal beliefs and misconceptions that many Americans hold about immigrants and our immigration system. I now realize that I held these personal beliefs not out of hatred or jingoism, but because I didn't know any better.
In the last month I noticed the recent controversy over Obamacare has caused many of our national media and political figures to raise concerns about immigrant eligibility for U.S. welfare benefits. One of the more controversial claims made by media is that immigrants burden American taxpayers by draining welfare resources, without paying their fair share of income taxes.
Under U.S. statutory law, a person's residency status and eligibility for welfare benefits are completely separate things and are, for the most part, legally separated. Under U.S. law, a person's residency status, be it legal or illegal, does not automatically make a person eligible for welfare benefits. The immigration-reform legislation of 1996 explicitly bars most non-U.S. citizens from receiving most welfare benefits, and the law remains the same today.
The law explicitly states that illegal immigrants are not eligible for welfare or for the majority of state and federal benefits, nor are legal immigrants eligible for most federal welfare programs. Even if an immigrant is a legal naturalized U.S. citizen, he or she is still ineligible for most federal welfare programs. Children born to immigrant parents in the U.S., who are American citizens by birth, are eligible for government services and benefits that are not available to their parents.
The issue of immigrant use of means tested programs is not likely to go away anytime soon. The discussion of what to do about this problem should be conducted with the recognition of its complexity.
In the meantime, stop jumping on political bandwagons based on the claims made by people who are paid and/or live to stir up crap. Take the time to inform yourself of the reality and facts of U.S. immigration law. Spend less time creating chain emails by copying and pasting the comment sections from blogs and Facebook. Spend more time educating yourself about immigration policy and law from an unbiased, nonpolitical reputable source of information.
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