-- Reagan Would Not Repeat Amnesty Mistake - 12/13/11
-- Flag wars! Teen gets 3-day Cinco de Mayo suspension - 5/08/10
-- Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees - 5/06/10
-- The War Against Amnesty Is Back - 12/15/09
| Reagan Would Not Repeat Amnesty Mistake
12/13/2006 by Edwin Meese III
This is the fifth in an occasional series of exclusive articles in which leading conservatives who served in the Reagan Administration explain how they believe the principles of Reagan conservatism ought to be applied today and in the coming years. Edwin Meese was Reagan’s first presidential counselor and then attorney general, addresses immigration.
Immigration is one area where Reagan’s principles can guide us, and the lessons are instructive.
During the debate over what became the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, President Reagan, acting on the recommendation of a bipartisan task force, supported a comprehensive approach to the problem of illegal immigration, including adjusting the status of what was then a relatively small population.
President Reagan set out to correct the loss of control at our borders. Border security and enforcement of immigration laws would be greatly strengthened—in particular, through sanctions against employers who hired illegal immigrants. If jobs were the attraction for illegal immigrants, then cutting off that option was crucial.
He also agreed with the legislation in adjusting the status of immigrants—even if they had entered illegally—who were law-abiding long-term residents, many of whom had children in the United States. Illegal immigrants who could establish that they had resided in America continuously for five years would be granted temporary resident status, which could be upgraded to permanent residency after 18 months and, after another five years, to citizenship. It wasn’t automatic. They had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because these are pretty much the same provisions included in the Comprehensive Reform Act of 2006, which its supporters claim is not amnesty. In the end, slight differences in process do not change the overriding fact that the 1986 law and the recent Senate legislation both include an amnesty. The difference is that President Reagan called it for what it was.
Lesson of 1986
The lesson from the 1986 experience is that such an amnesty did not solve the problem. There was extensive document fraud, and the number of people applying for amnesty far exceeded projections. And there was a failure of political will to enforce new laws against employers. After a brief slowdown, illegal immigration returned to high levels and continued unabated, forming the nucleus of today’s large population of illegal aliens.
So here we are, 20 years later, having much the same debate and being offered much the same deal.
What would President Reagan do? For one thing, he would not repeat the mistakes of the past, including those of his own administration. He knew that secure borders are vital, and would now insist on meeting that priority first. He would seek to strengthen the enforcement of existing immigration laws. He would employ new tools—like biometric technology for identification, and cameras, sensors and satellites to monitor the border — that make enforcement and verification less onerous and more effective.
One idea President Reagan had at the time that we might also try improving on is to create a pilot program that would allow genuinely temporary workers to come to the United States — a reasonable program consistent with security and open to the needs and dynamics of our market economy.
And what about those already here? Today it seems to me that the fair policy, one that will not encourage further illegal immigration, is to give those here illegally the opportunity to correct their status by returning to their country of origin and getting in line with everyone else. This, along with serious enforcement and control of the illegal inflow at the border — a combination of incentives and disincentives — will significantly reduce over time our population of illegal immigrants.
Lastly, we should remember Reagan’s commitment to the idea that America must remain open and welcoming to those yearning for freedom. As a nation based on ideas, Ronald Reagan believed that there was something unique about America and that anyone, from anywhere, could become an American. That means that while we seek to meet the challenge of illegal immigration, we must keep open the door of opportunity by preserving and enhancing our heritage of legal immigration — assuring that those who choose to come here permanently become Americans. In the end, it was his principled policy—and it should be ours—to “humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people: American citizenship.”
Mr. Meese served as counselor to the President and attorney general in the Reagan Administration and is editor of "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution."
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wars! Teen gets 3-day Cinco de Mayo suspension
Student wouldn't let Mexican colors fly higher than the Stars and Stripes
May 08, 2010 By Drew Zahn WorldNetDaily
Mexican flag hung at Klein Collins High School
A high school sophomore in Texas says he has received a three-day suspension for taking down a Mexican flag that was hung in his school higher than the Stars and Stripes.
Nick Morris is a student at Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas, a northern suburb of Houston. On May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, the date many Mexicans in the U.S. commemorate a historical victory over the invading French army in 1862, Morris noticed a Mexican flag hung in the school's main hallway.
According to his own admission before school authorities, Morris tore down the flag and, upon being unable to find its owner, threw it in the trash.
"I told them – I was just straight up with them – I said, 'Yes, I did take down the flag," Morris explained to radio host Michael Berry on AM 740 KTRH radio in Houston. "I told them it was flying in the middle of the hallway. I said, 'That's not right; you don't fly a foreign flag inside a school."
Now, Morris says, he's been issued a three-day in-school suspension for his act and told to pay for replacement of the flag.
Morris also says that school administrators questioned what he "had against Cinco de Mayo" and that many of his schoolmates have labeled him as racist.
For Morris, however, his motivation wasn't a disdain for Mexicans or the Mexican flag, but a defense of American patriotism.
"Cinco De Mayo is a great holiday," Morris told the radio host. "I have no problem with red white and green everywhere; it's student speech, it's what America basically is. I said, 'The only problem I did have is when you fly the flag of a neighboring country in a public school.'"
According to Houston's KTRK-TV, Klein Independent School District Communications Director Trazana Halstead confirmed a Mexican flag was displayed inside the building, with permission, by a member of the school's Spanish club as part of a Cinco de Mayo observance.
The school district also issued a statement on its website squashing some of the erroneous reports circulated online about the incident, namely that the Mexican flag was on a flagpole outside the school above an American flag flown upside down – all untrue.
"Neither the Klein Independent School District nor any of its campuses," the statement insists, "has displayed another country or state's flag in a manner that would dishonor or disrespect the American flag or the Texas state flag."
But while Morris has also clarified the flag was merely hung in a hallway and not on a pole or over the American flag, he does contend the Mexican flag was displayed disrespectfully, since it was posted higher than the Stars and Stripes.
"I told them it was higher than the American flag. I said there is one American flag in this building; it's lower than the Mexican flag," Morris said in his radio interview. "I took a tape measure and measured; that flag was 4 feet higher than [both] the American and Texas flag."
After airing Morris' interview, Berry has not only suggested audiences contact the school's assistant principal handling the case, Mr. Shellie Dick, but has also offered to cover the cost of replacing the flag.
In addition to his three-day suspension, Morris says, his school year will also be extended by up to a week for rescheduling finals due to the incident. The school itself has refused to comment on any matter pertaining to student discipline.
WND earlier reported on another Cinco de Mayo flag clash, when five students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., were reportedly threatened with suspension for wearing American flag T-shirts instead of "fostering a spirit of cultural awareness" on the Mexican holiday.
School administrators instructed the teens to turn their American flag T-shirts inside-out or they would be sent home. Student Dominic Maciel told NBC the boys were told they would be suspended if they returned to their classes wearing the T-shirts.
The teens, however, refused to turn their T-shirts inside-out because they said it was disrespectful, so their parents took them home.
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Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees
Freedom of expression or cultural disrespect on Cinco de Mayo?
May 6, 2010 By GEORGE KIRIYAMA
On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel Galli and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T-shirts with the American flag. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day especially on a campus with a large Mexican American student population.
Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal's office.
"They said we could wear it on any other day," Daniel Galli said, "but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."
The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts "incendiary" that would lead to fights on campus.
"They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended," Dominic Maciel, Galli's friend, said.
The boys really had no choice, and went home to avoid suspension. They say they're angry they were not allowed to express their American pride. Their parents are just as upset, calling what happened to their children, "total nonsense."
"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," Julie Fagerstrom, Maciel's mom, said. "All they were doing was displaying their patriotic nature. They're expressing their individuality."
But to many Mexican-American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They say they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors on a Mexican holiday.
"I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day," Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. "We don't deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn't do that on Fourth of July."
As for an apology, the boys and their families say, 'fat chance.'
"I'm not going to apologize. I did nothing wrong," Galli said. "I went along with my normal day. I might have worn an American flag, but I'm an American and I'm proud to be an American."
The five boys and their families met with a Morgan Hill Unified School District official Wednesday night. The district and the school do not see eye-to-eye on the incident and released the following statement:
The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration's interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.
The boys will not be suspended and were allowed to return to school Thursday. We spotted one of them when he got to campus -- and, yes, he was sporting an American flag T-shirt.
First Published: May 6, 2010 1:22 AM PDT
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For the Republic!
The War Against Amnesty Is Back: Fellow Patriot we've been warning
about this for months now, and just on the cusp of the Christmas
holiday -- when everyone is distracted with shopping and planning --
Obama and his socialist cadre have quietly introduced the biggest
amnesty boondoggle in history! And it must be stopped dead in it's