Illegal Immigration’s Impact on Oklahoma Schools

No need to pretend, this is going to be an uncomfortable conversation that’s not very politically correct. Immigration affects different parts of the country very differently. Oklahoma’s vicinity to the Southern border and it’s very low cost of living, among many other factors, makes it attractive for many Mexican immigrants, and ideal for many who are living in the United States illegally.

I really didn’t understand this until one day in class.

In my classes, I asked tough questions. One day, a conversation came up about illegal immigration. I looked to some of my Mexican students, who are not a minority where we live, and asked them point blank if they thought illegal immigration was as common as people say. I expected responses to either downplay it or silence if it was. To my surprise, they very openly acknowledged how common illegal immigration was. Some outlined the processes by which coyotes bring new immigrants over, the specialists who forge documents, relationships with drug cartels, and much more that left my jaw hanging. Finally, I asked, “So in your opinion, how many of the Hispanic kids in town do you think live here illegally?” Just as frank as before, they looked at each other, thought about it and one finally said, “About a quarter,” to which the rest confirmed. While not a scientific study by any degree, the students’ anecdotal admonition is supported by data.

Racial Dot Map

Above is a racial dot map of my town. Here, the Mexican population went from around 5% in 1970 to around 50% according to the 2010 census. That’s a massive shift and I am not even talking about the cultural consequences. Add this to the ad-hoc survey of Mexican students acknowledged around 25% of their Mexican counterparts immigrated to Oklahoma illegally. A few have even very openly admitted to me personally their own illegal status.Further evidence comes from the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s website, which shows about a 1% increase in total enrollment annually since around 2009, which suddenly plummetted to around .15% following the election of President Trump and the reduction of illegal immigration which followed.

 When evidence suggests that 12.5% of your student population are children of illegal immigrants, as well as the impact that has to your native students, some conversations need to start happening, and they are going to be difficult, beginning with one of the primary methods schools get state funding.

Daily head counts are a major factor used to determine the needs of a district when requests for funding are made each year to the state. This isn’t measured by enrollments, but how many children are actually present in class on a daily basis. More heads mean more funding. As per state requirements, to be present you must be enrolled requiring proof of legal residence. This includes birth certificate, SSN, shot records, and proof of a valid home address within the district. This asks how it is possible for so many students to claim illegal status while the system seems to have mechanisms to prevent it. What seems apparent from the administrators I’ve spoken to is a system with holes. One such hole seems to center on the implausibly large number of Hispanic children who have recently immigrated, not from the Mexico, or even Texas, but via New Hampshire, among other oddities. Clearly, professional fraudulent behaviors are taking place that allows many children to pass enrollment.

The question is, what are the schools to do about it? Should the schools deny new students on suspicion? That could get a school on the news really fast, as it’s actually a violation of a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision. Plyler v. Doe held that illegal immigrants do have the rights to state public education.

Held: A Texas statute which withholds from local school districts any state funds for the education of children who were not “legally admitted” into the United States, and which authorizes local school districts to deny enrollment to such children, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Furthermore, it states that school administrators aren’t obligated to enforce immigration law.

But does it mean that better integration with federal immigration agencies during the enrollment process is out of the question? No. In the way that an application to buy a gun involves a background check, what’s preventing applications for all new students from being automatically screened by state and federal authorities for irregularities? Such a system would aid investigators if they feel that investigation is warranted, such in cases where it is believed the parents are involved in far more illegal activity than simply living within the United States, so long as the student is allowed to enroll regardless.

The big problem, however, is that schools currently aren’t incentivized to lower the number of students. This isn’t because of some altruistic benevolence, but because of daily head counts. Reducing the number of children, no matter the reason, reduces the total funds allocated to the school by the state. In a cash-strapped Oklahoma, schools do not turn away students for purely financial reasons. It is always a poorly designed system that incentivizes one government to work against the goals of many others on account of funding to do so.

Second is that Oklahoma attracts many low-income immigrants because they find cheaper homes, a lower cost of living, availability of low skill labor, and a geography difficult for federal agencies to investigate illegal immigration activity. Combine this with the state’s other funding difficulties such as law enforcement, and you can see that any policing agencies are much more concerned with Oklahoma’s growing organized drug crime problems than on school enrollment. Little can be done about what makes Oklahoma fairly unique and attractive to many who are living in the state illegally, but we have to ask if we need to reconsider how we fund our schools and if daily head counts should be a primary driver of revenue.

The head-count system assumes certain things about the “normal/average child”. This assumes historical average variables such as family size, family income, local taxation, and predictable levels of special services to name a few. However, when a large enough proportion of students in a particular school, or even whole regions of the state, does not reflect such state norms then the systems built to fund only on raw numbers fall apart. A few examples:

Consider funding provided by locals districts. New sources of cheap labor drive business development and increase local spending, both of which mean an increase in taxes, but is the new business created enough to offset the costs to educate their children? Usually not, as the costs per student were designed to also include income taxes. When much of your income is illegally sourced and off the books, it’s rarely taxed. This is true both for the business and the employer side.

Next, the “normal costs” don’t normally factor in additional services immigrant children require to compete. This isn’t talking about the cultural ramifications or race, but economic realities and acknowledging the hardships of teaching to such extremes in demographics. Consider that almost every teacher I know has had to teach a new student who has never spoken a word of the English language. Do you remember the challenges around testing? Multiply that by an order of magnitude when you have multiple students who are ESL (English as a second language.) State funds are required for ESL (English as a Second Language) and ELL (English Language Learner) programs, and sometimes the districts must add even more. But a certified teacher must fill this role, which is almost impossible in many of the rural parts of the state. For perspective, after interviewing one local administrator, of the 556 students enrolled in her building, 149 rate ESL services. That’s roughly 30% of the students rating some form of ESL or ELL programs. These programs channel huge amounts of money to these children relative to what their native-born students, both American and Mexican-American get to achieve the same education. For comparison, one school district in Louisiana found that the additional costs incurred for educating came to approximately $4.6 to educate 533 illegal immigrant students and a 2011 study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform found illegal immigration’s fiscal burden on Oklahoma education to be around $245 million. Given all of this, and the extremes in demographic and economic inequalities leave systems built around statewide normalized metrics such as daily head counts unsuitable to determine the state funding a school should receive.

If we are having conversations about things that can be done, understanding the burden that illegal immigration has on Oklahoma education needs to be part of that conversation. Any system which incentivizes packing students into seats at all costs needs to be questioned, and this is especially true if the policy incentivizes schools to make decisions that don’t put the needs of American citizens first. We need policies that encourage schools to work with other government agencies to do what is best for Oklahoma students and future.


Photography for the Mystic Valley Charter Schools.

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Can Trump’s Wall Really Work?

Again, these are not pretty solutions, and won’t stop a determined anything from scaling it. No one is reasonably expecting it to cut off 100% of either crime related to the south of the border sources or illegal immigration. There will still be novel solutions to ever-growing problems, however, like the Great Wall of China, the main source of exploitation for both crime and illegal immigration en masse, being a largely unchecked and unenforceable border between the US and Mexico will be removed from the options for those attempting to break US laws of entry. In some places, tunnels will be dug, but for the 170,000 people who entered the US illegally in 2015 to try to pop out of a single hole in the ground… it’s going to be noticed. Across more than 2,000 miles of open border? Not so much. A person with enough desire and motivation can scale a line of Hescos just as easily as anything else. Whether we’re talking about a massive wall taking years, or a few piles of really elaborate sandbags, it serves as a very strong barrier to slow people down and prevent the movement of much larger goods, such as large amounts of drugs, weapons, or vehicles carrying even more. While you might be able to get over such a wall, the time it took to get a huge backpack filled with this sort of contraband is enough that someone watching a camera feed will probably say, “Hey Joe, you see that down at mile marker 87?”

Some will even be able to overcome the massive walls planned out, but the vast majority will be turned away, attempting to try their luck through some fraudulent means at border checkpoints. Given that we will then have the manpower to check these resources, that too will become tougher to execute. So it won’t work for 100%, but we have every reason to believe that a 95% reduction in illegal border crossing and south of the border originated international crime is completely possible. That’s great news. That’s the point of this wall, and by all evidence we have, there’s nothing to say it couldn’t do the job.


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It Doesn’t Need to be Pretty

There are also numerous avenues on how to approach the building of such a wall beyond just the extreme assumptions of building the most expensive variant of proposed walls across the entire border. We can even look to implementation set up in Iraq and Afghanistan for such examples. If you’ll look at my profile picture, you’ll see what are called T-barriers.

Also called Bremer Walls and Jersey Barriers, these are large and freestanding concrete slabs are cheap to build, transport, and install. They essentially fit together like massive Lego bricks with a notch fitting two together that is mirrored on the opposite side so that an infinitely long chain can be created able to bend around objects or buildings and adjust with the terrain that is impossible to destroy without heavy machinery. They’re like legos for big boys.

In Iraq, we used them for two reasons. You can see behind me, that they were lined around our prefabricated living units. This was because the walls were able to absorb the blast of an incoming mortar, small missile, or random rocket-propelled grenade, which might come our way and endanger the thousands of Marines inside. The second way we used them was during the “Surge”, a change in tactics to our counter-insurgency efforts where, overnight, entire city blocks could be quarantined off with these units. This allowed Marines and soldiers to wall off whole neighborhoods within hours, allowing few points of entry and exit that could be manned and checked while teams searched house to house for weapons, contraband, or other signs of enemy activity. Just as quickly, the walls could be moved or removed to clear other parts of the city.

I want to be clear, that like the Great Wall of China example, there is nothing stopping someone determined from getting over one of these walls. A ladder could do it. What they do, however, is prevent the free flow of large numbers of people, and more importantly, a large amount of cargo to pass freely. You might be able to sneak over the wall yourself, and you might even be able to get over with a rifle, but there is no way you are going to be able to sneak an entire team with heavy weapons, rocket and bomb parts, and other logistical considerations over the wall clandestinely. That’s what the T-barriers did. They broke up the enemy’s ability to move and, in my mind, had a major part in the story of how the United States successfully quelled the insurgency around 2007… not that anyone heard about that.

All that to say… I’m a big fan of these simple impediments. They saved a lot of lives.

Even more humble is the HESCO barrier. These ingenious little devices are little more than 21st-century sandbags, literally. They are large canvas bags supported by a metal frame which be broken down and stacked by the hundreds when unused, taken out and unfolded where they will be installed, and then just have sand, dirt, rocks, or anything dumped in them.

Installation of these barriers is even easier than that of the T-barriers requiring little more than two unskilled technicians, a truck, and a lot of dirt.

Importantly, I’ve seen these things stacked four high, making a wall of about twenty feet. Interestingly, it can be filled with dirt excavated in other areas of the construction project. These “insta-forts” are able to be installed, and just as importantly, taken down, in a matter of days, rather than weeks, months, or even years and at a fraction of the cost of what most are assuming such a wall would cost. Granted, this is not a solution that will last a thousand years, but it will get the job done in many of the areas where a massive wall isn’t required, but some impediment is.

This is why the same technology (yes giant bags of sand and dirt still count as technology) is used in the United States civilian side to protect against the sudden threat of flooding.


Continue to the next section.

The Wall

We’re Not the Only Ones Doing It…

So now let’s ask, can it be done?

The best places to look for that answer is where others are attempting similar feats. Case in point, Saudi Arabia.

Along the Northern border of Saudi Arabia, bordering Iraq, the Saudis began plans to build a series of walls and fence works in 2006. Construction was expedited after the invasion of Iraq’s Al Anbar and Nineveh provinces in 2014 by Islamic State forces, where construction began around September of that year. The project calls for some 1000 km long stretch of varying degrees of fortified walls, fencing, and some areas manned with remotely operated UAV surveillance.

From the Independent Journal Review

“…consists of 78 monitoring towers, eight command centers, 10 mobile surveillance vehicles, 32 rapid-response centers, and three rapid intervention squads, all linked by a fiber-optic communications network.” [3]

Also is Israel’s southern border which, in the words of Israel’s Prime Minister, worked out pretty well.

 In fact, looking across the world, we see that the concept of building border walls is not a new idea propagated by the Americans, but one in which more and more countries are attempting to take advantage.

Continue to next section…

Why We Need the Wall

Bringing us back to the contemporary, what would “success” for the US Southern Border Wall be?

The first thing that has to be accepted is that the scale of illegal immigration from Mexico is staggering with huge effects on the United States.

Likewise, according to the same Pew Research centered, illegal immigrants currently account for some 3.5% of the US population.[1] With regard to Mexican immigration, this is most readily felt in parts of the country where few people go, the small towns. There is a map created which represents every person on the US census as a color-coded dot – One Dot Per Person for the Entire U.S.

Zooming out shows the map as apparently completely blue, but when you zoom into many areas, such as my town highlighted with the arrow above and shown below, you see the homogenous blue zones suddenly become remarkably racially diverse.

Why my town, as well as so many towns, become suddenly homogeneously blue as you zoom out, I don’t understand, but I do understand that this is a mostly invisible issue to many who do not live in small towns like mine, nor are the externalities of it. Those externalities include that the low wage low skill jobs that employed the majority of the population are gone. There are still people doing them, but much of the work for people starting their careers have shifted to immigrant and often illegal labor. Secondly, is the impact on the schools. In my town, the population has shifted from 5% Mexican population in the 1970’s, to around 50% today. In general, this isn’t a problem except when we factor in for illegal immigrants. I’ve polled Mexican-American students at the school who volunteer that they believe at least 25% of the students are living in the United States illegally. By that, we can estimate that some 8 to 10% of the students of the school are not legally supposed to live in the town or the country for that matter. These students do have access to the same education and the same resources but are not bearing the same tax burden. For small towns like mine, having 10% of the students not contributing to the tax base is devastating to the educational standard provided, with ripple effects that can be felt for generations. This, along with many other factors, is part of why Oklahoma education is facing an existential crisis.

Likewise, let’s look at some numbers from the US Federal Sentencing Commission in 2015. Illegal immigrants accounted for 37% of all federal crimes, discounting all immigration-related federal crimes, this accounts for 14% of all federal crimes. In that remaining category, they accounted for 75% of drug possession, 30% of kidnappings, 21% of national defense crimes such as exporting arms, munitions or military equipment, and providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, 18% of drug trafficking, 10% of money laundering, and 5% of all murders. [2]

I want to be clear, this isn’t saying that Mexicans are bad people or even that all illegal immigrants are bad. I don’t even believe the majority are guilty anything more than knowingly attempting to subvert our immigration laws, but all of these crimes… should not be able to happen at all. We simply must accept that the United States would be better off with fewer people selling drugs, fewer kidnappings, and fewer murders, and if an easy to prevent much of that is tougher enforcement of immigration law, then great.

Similarly, the economic burden placed on our rural labor force and education systems should not be happening at all.

That is how we will be able to measure if the Southern Wall will be a success. If it can dramatically reduce the influx of illegal immigration as well as the crime coming through or dependent upon an open Southern border, then it will be a success.

Having established that, let’s ask first if there is evidence to support the building. San Diego built their own wall and saw perhaps the best proof we need.

The wall in San Diego reduced illegal immigration apprehensions by 95%.

Back then, Border Patrol agent Jim Henry says he was overwhelmed by the stream of immigrants who crossed into the United States illegally just in that sector.

“It was an area that was out of control,” Henry says. “There were over 100,000 aliens crossing through this area a year.”

Today, Henry is assistant chief of the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector. He says apprehensions here are down 95 percent, from 100,000 a year to 5,000 a year, largely because the single strand of cable marking the border was replaced by double — and in some places, triple — fencing.

San Diego Fence Provides Lessons in Border Control

Furthermore, let’s look at the national level implementation in the US. Most illegal immigrants to the US actually came over in the 1990s when apprehensions reached a staggering 1.6 million per year.

Policies beginning around the time of 2000 halted much of the illegal immigration into the US but just as much was the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which saw the construction of 653 miles of reinforced fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Due mostly to this, US Border Patrol now is forced to make far fewer apprehensions. Extending the 653 miles would further reduce the need for US Border Patrol agents to make what still amounts to a quarter million apprehensions a year.


Continue on to next section.

 

Could Trump’s Border Wall Work?

It’s worked before.

In fact, studying the purpose of the Great Wall of China serves well to explain what success for the Southern Border Wall would look like.

At that time, the threat came from populations to the north that wasn’t set on invading and overthrowing China, but from small raiding parties looting borderland villages. Militarily, a raid is an attack which isn’t meant to occupy territory but to inflict some harm on an enemy before retreating back to a safe location. In this way, the harm that was visited upon the Ming Dynasty could come from literally anywhere along the empire’s northern border. Without warning, some independent tribe of anywhere from 15 to 200 soldiers could show up and ransack a borderland village or even a small city. They could take with them slaves and treasure, preventing development in the region and representing a constant drain on the empire.

So there are two possible solutions to this problem. You either dedicate an army, literally a whole army, to the entire border that could respond with reasonable force to any possible raid attempt, or, you build some static defense that could prevent the majority of such attacks. In the case of China, the solution was the northern border wall, a static option. Could a determined foe scale the wall? Sure, but the wall prevented the main tool necessary for these raids from getting over — the horse. By denying that tactical necessity, it no longer became profitable for the types of raids to occur. No longer did the region suffer from the raids, but also, the types of people who would do the raiding also died off. At the same, the army that was saved was allowed to be redeployed to other areas, sometimes to expand the borders of China, sometimes to protect them invasions themselves. To say the least, the Great Wall of China was necessary to providing the culture with much of the stability and security to become the cultural centerpiece of world history it is today. Eventually, the wall was overcome by a determined force from the north, but it still bought the Chinese more than 1,200 years of security after it was built.

Not too shabby.


Continue on to part 2

Quora Answers: Does President Barack Obama’s decision to stop deporting some illegal immigrants violate his oath of office?

I would say that it isn’t quite a violation of his oath. More a choice on distribution of resources, but it does set a dangerous precedent and I don’t think it is a good idea. 
What the President is advocating is that we should focus our immigration efforts away from nonviolent immigrants and focus it elsewhere. While this is sound in reasoning it is also going to put even more pressure on some of the hardest hit of the last recession and channel taxpayer funds away from their intended recipients. While I like that the President is advocating we do the right thing for these people, I disagree with it because to do so would hurt many Americans and many more Americans do not agree with this policy. I am also worried that this policy won’t actually have any power or affect any change to help those in question, but may just be a ploy to sway Latino voters. That is the short answer, here is the long one…

What is really being said here?
What the President is advocating is that a group of illegal immigrants no longer fall under the threat of deportation. This isn’t amnesty and it isn’t citizenship. It is just not being deported, according to his words. This group, according to the press conference of the President, will be limited to those who:

  • Were brought here by their parents at a young age.
  • Have been here for 5 years or more.
  • Are seeking to go to college or join the military.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video…

I try to be fair in my posts, so you will see pros and cons. I have my opinion and I will share it, but I will also try and give alternative points of view as well.

Pros:
The immigration system will be able to focus it’s efforts on more dangerous criminal immigrants and be diverted from less dangerous threats such as students. 
One of the arguments mentioned that there was a need to fix the broken immigration system. This is true and has been for a very long time. The borders, particularly the southern border, has been a highway for criminal smuggling activity for decades. This is a main route for drugs, weapons and human trafficking into the United States and black market money out. This argument is not concerned that too many people entering are flooding labor markets, but that without the secure borders we are allowing dangerous contraband to enter the states and even more dangerous people. Here the argument makes sense because the initiative does focus efforts where they will be most useful.

More suspicious and deserving of our attention…

Than this.

Some very good talent will be kept in the United States that would have otherwise been lost through deportation.
I have a great deal of faith in many immigrants who come into this country. They possess within them a great courage and enthusiasm, enough to leave their homeland and start fresh among strangers. Immigrants and first generation Americans have the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the country and are serving as much of the foundation of our economy. Many come here just seeking work and don’t come with baggage that many of my fellow white privileged Americans seem to hold. We feel entitled and a lack humility. Many of the Chinese and Mexicans that I have known and work with in particular exemplify this mentality of hard work and humility while leading a quiet life. They add to not only the countries financial wealth, but also her cultural, moral and social wealth as well. If those who fit this description, a reasonable filter being those seeking higher education, are ignored by immigration then perhaps that is a better use of INS resources and might not be the worst thing.

Cons:
There are already programs in place to protect immigrants who seek college education and service in the military.
While I was in service in the United States Marine Corps I served with several illegal immigrants. Of course they had become naturalized citizens by this time, but I, as a home grown white American was in shock the United States would allow such people into the forces! (This statement was meant in sarcasm people, unbunch your britches.) But it was a surprise to me. Several of them described a process of expedited citizenship in exchange for service in the military. That being said, I am not an expert on this process, but I am aware that it already exists and doesn’t just offer protection, but citizenship. Along with military service comes veteran benefits including the GI Bill and loans for housing. There are also other programs in place to aid illegal immigrants in college already in place that I will mention later down. So the President’s statement seems at best misleading, at worst creating a new solution to an already fixed problem. In the case of these other Marines, many of them were my friends and I trusted them very much. As a born citizen I think that those who leave behind their homeland, pick up weapons and fight our wars beside the “true” Americans don’t just need to be awarded citizenship, there needs to be a statue somewhere in their honor. That, however is a different post. The point is, this program already exists, why is he selling a new one?

This is already the standard practice of INS.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service is already fighting one of the toughest unsung wars in US history. They are undermanned and patrol a massive area. By practice their policies already focus on the most dangerous and the most trafficked areas. They already put much more effort into apprehending those who are a danger to the citizens of the United States than they ever would to a college student. The President in his speech remarked that in recent years there has been a great increase in dangerous immigrant captures. This could not have been done checking ID’s at the local community college in Denton, Texas or any other college campus for that matter. It also can’t be done by “being a nation that expels young kids” which is a quote from the speech that seemed more intended to incite an emotional response rather than reflect what statistically is not the case with the majority of deportations.

This represents the President choosing to ignore certain mandates for certain people.
This is really the heart of the question that Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was pointing to. By saying that laws set about can be ignored he is saying that he has the power to prosecute whomever he wishes, even treating two people differently who are guilty of the same crime. This is a funny grey area since in this case neither are citizens of the United States, but the ramifications are scary. Could the President or future Presidents one day do the same for other groups, Democrat/Republican, Black/White, Male/Female? I believe that was the direction Mr. Gonzalez was pointing to. No matter how nice it would be a President should not have the power to choose who they do and do not punish. This reasoning places the President’s moral high ground and doing the right thing ideals on a foundation built on very sandy soil. That being said, he would certainly not be the first president, Republican or Democrat (or Federalist) to do this, in all fairness.

This is in opposition to the wishes of many, many American people.
While the issue is deeply contested most Americans worry about too much immigration. They are concerned about dispersal of jobs, resources such as in the public schools and entitlement funds for a growing portion of the population that goes largely untaxed. They feel that if the investment in tax payer dollars is made in these young people there is no guarantee that they will stay around to better America for it. There is also a large argument brewing between the differences in American illegal immigration policy and the much more severe policies of other countries, one ironically being Mexico. This worries a lot of people. Whatever your particular stance on this issue is, a very large number of Americans do not support any program they feel makes it easier for illegal immigrants to take advantage of American wealth. Since so many feel this way, it leads me to say that the President’s job isn’t to decide when the American people are wrong, but to be a conduit for their wishes. He is their elected representative to the most powerful position in the United States. For that reason, I would view that it is his obligation to follow the expressed wishes of the majority and not decide on his own what is right.

This hurts the Americans who right now are already suffering greatly.
Another major concern is that this new policy will create a massive surge in college attendance. While at face value this sounds like a wonderful thing, there are issues with this. The problem with many schools today is that they have already dumbed down the curriculum to open their doors for less serious students and gain their tuition. This is creating a generation of college graduates little better off and with no fewer skills than when they entered school. To confound this with a flood of students not interested in learning, but on not getting deported would only dilute the school systems efficacy further. This brings about the question of payment. There are already numerous government grants that reward a great deal of college tuition based only on household income. Proof of citizenship is not an issue and therefore, government money is used to compensate non citizens for attending college. This too reflects a bad policy diverting funds intended for the American poor to non-Americans. Skip ahead a few years and you have a massive influx into the job market for people aged 22-28.

This group recently has been hit the hardest with the unemployment crisis ranging at times of 25% unemployment. While the average unemployment during the recession was between 9-10% the young college graduates struggled around 14%. This being due to slow growth in the economy, the lack of growth in entry level jobs and few start-ups in non-tech industries. These people are already having hard times getting their carriers off the ground and to invite more competition would be inviting failure for all parties involved. This sub-crisis has been a major contributor to many of the recent politcal action of youth like the Occupy protests.  While I disagree with much of the movements rationalities I do see their point of view in this struggle. We already have a country who’s economy can’t support it’s current college graduates, what good would more and less educated ones do? You have to ask, “As a country do we want to weaken one of our most vunerable groups of proven talent by inviting, supporting and protecting non-citizens?”

In summary…
No. I do not think that this is expressly going against the President’s oath. He is choosing to govern the resources of agencies like the INS in a more efficient way. He is also not dealing with American citizens in how he chooses to follow the laws or mandates. I do however think that is policy is a bad one because:

  1. It doesn’t actually create any new programs that don’t already exist in one way another or are not already the standard practice.
  2. It could put new pressures on schools and the labor market hurting American citizens.
  3. It is built around the story of the “hard working, good grade earning kid who has never done anything wrong” who has historically never been the real target of deportation. This is an emotional pull which diverts people from issues and dilutes them in idealism and racial debate.
  4. Is against the wishes of many, many Americans. As I mentioned before, it is the role of a president to be the representative of the people, not the one who decided when they are wrong.

My final concern is one also shared by the Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, that the President may be trying to use this as a hook to gain Latino voters a few months before the election. These of course are actual citizens, but sympathetic to many illegal immigrants today.