Thursday, June 30, 2005

Border Freebies: Using The Race Card To Get An Education

Isn't hypocrisy an interesting thing?

A few weeks ago, Mexican President Vicente Fox uttered some remarks that many considered to be
racist toward African Americans. He later expressed "regret" over the comments but never apologized for making them.

And now CNN is telling us that the Mexican Government has issued a set of postage stamps that
features characters based on black stereotypes.

I remember that a few years ago the State of California passed a law requiring mandatory automobile liability insurance (or other form of financial responsibility such as a cash bond) for everyone operating a motor vehicle within the state. Drivers of automobiles and trucks with Mexican plates were expected to comply with the law like everyone else.

Almost immediately, officials of the Mexican Government began screaming charges of "Racism!"

Instead of confronting the rhetoric, the state government quickly backed down; drivers of autos with Mexican plates were (and are) exempted from California's financial responsibility law.

Of course drivers of American licensed vehicles are routinely arrested, taken to jail, and incarcerated by Mexican authorities for being unable to pay compensation when they are involved in auto accidents south of the border.

I also remember that a few years ago a number of school districts in California's "Imperial" Valley (where I teach) expressed concern over the large number of youngsters from the border city of Mexicali, Mexico, who were being driven across the border each morning in order to illegally attend Imperial County public schools.

Predictably, the local Mexican consul began the ceaseless cry of "Racism!" into the microphones of our local broadcast (English and Spanish) media.

Attempts by school officials to reduce the number of fraudulent enrollments by watching for cars bearing Mexican license plates dropping-off students (I've personally witnessed this.) near school campuses were soon abandoned.

During the last school year, several hundred students living in Mexicali took advantage of continued lax enforcement of residency requirements in order to obtain a free education at taxpayer's expense. A reporter for the local paper, The Imperial Valley Press,
just received an award for covering the story.

My guess is that nothing will change in the upcoming school year; hundreds of children living in Mexicali will continue getting a free K-12 education in Imperial County public schools courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Ironically, many of these students are from relatively affluent families.

And nobody will do a thing about it.

In Mexico, students must pay tuition to attend public high school.
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