Name:
Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Illegal Aliens And Driver licenses (Let's Debate)

My wife and I got into a heated discussion that I would like to share with you. We were debating whether illegal aliens should be allowed to get drivers licenses. Currently, they can not. My wife thinks this is fine since they are breaking the law by being here. I understand her point but I strongly support the removal of immigration barriers and think this is one that should be lifted. If they are here than why not allow them to drive?

FOR DISCUSSION: What are your feelings on the subject? Back up your opinions with some sort of rational. Should illegal aliens get in-state tuition?

29 Comments:

Blogger Corey Wells said...

I think that they should be allowed to do what they can within the U.S. national law. Preventing these people to come into the country and act as a civilized person instead of a rat is wrong. I think it hurts U.S. image and could be argued that it makes the U.S. somewhat isolated. Granted you dont want hundreds of millions immigrating a year, but that is another issue. This is just my opinion, and you can disect it and basht it, it wont hurt me.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

Intersting point Corey. Here is my question for you: You say that you do not want millions of immigrants coming into the US. How many immigrnats do you allow in to the US and how do you choose which ones to let in and which ones to keep out?

8:44 PM  
Blogger Casey Jack said...

Actually, I thought that the state government was moving towards allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses. Personally, I do not think that we should lift some of the regulations on these people. These illegal aliens can come in to the country - they work for less, thus taking jobs from our citizens. I don't think that's right. Why should someone who is not even part of our country be allowed to take a job from a United States citizen?

Moving on to the driver's license, again I must say, why should we give these people driver's licenses when they are illegal? The way I see it, they may be able to legally drive, but they are still illegally here.

And the in-state tuition has to be the most absurd thing that I've heard in a while. In-State Tuition? These people aren't even In-Country!! The citizens of the country from other states are the ones on the short end of the stick here. So a student from Colorado who wants to attend Wichita State has to pay more in tuition than an illegal alien??? How is this a good thing? How does this benefit us in any way? Listen to this: "'If terrorists come to get a pilot's license at a Kansas university, at least we gave them in-state tuition before they used it against us,' Rep. Scott Schwab said." Isn't that nice? Just an example for you.

People from out of state are being shortchanged thousands of dollars because of this - I don't think it is fair at all. Some out-of-state students have filed a lawsuit over this. Another quote for you: "The lawsuit was filed on behalf of students from some of the other 49 states who are attending Kansas universities but are denied the taxpayer subsidy of in-state college tuition. The lawsuit asserts that the new Kansas law, which was signed by Governor Kathleen Sebelius on May 20, makes each of these American students pay at least $10,000 more during their college years than illegal aliens pay." I understand where these people are coming from - something like this would infuriate me to no end knowing that people not legally present in the United States are getting a discount on their college education.

This goes against federal law as well. From the United States Congress as of September 30, 1996: Under Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality; Chapter 14 - Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens; and Subchapter II - Eligibility For State And Local Public Benefits Programs:

Section 1623. Limitation on eligibility for preferential treatment of aliens not lawfully present on basis of residence for higher education benefits

(a) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not
lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the
basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for
any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of
the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an
amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen
or national is such a resident.
(b) Effective date
This section shall apply to benefits provided on or after July 1,
1998.

It is plainer than day! No illegal alien shall receive postsecondary education benefit unless citizens of the United States are eligible for the same benefit. Why is Kansas writing this new law when it clearly goes against what federal law states? It's wrong and I hope the out of state students suing the State of Kansas win. Hoofah!

From the president of FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform): "America has an enormous and growing illegal population precisely because violating our immigration laws is tolerated and rewarded."

9:44 PM  
Blogger Casey Jack said...

Also, congratulations on the baby, Mr. W!

9:48 PM  
Blogger Corey Wells said...

Ok, first i will respond to Jack's words. Jack, you are really going to deny an illegal alien the right to have in state tuition over a colorado student. They are in the country, and they are in the state. Granted as of now it is not extremely difficult to get here, but i dont think that Jack's points are 100% valid. You want to deny a person a job because they are not an american citizen. You want to shut down illegal immigration which is probably most of the immigration recieved. You want to take the U.S. and isolate it? First of all, the jobs the illegals do are horrible. They are the jobs that frankly, no one really wants to do. They need the money very badly to support their family so the do the job. In all reality, an American could have taken that job before the illegal even came into the country. On that same note i think American businessmen take advantage of these troubled people. The owner of the business understands the situation and exploits it by expecting the person to work as hard as they can, which most illegals do because their family is at risk if they dont. That is what isnt fair!!! I think there should be certain qualifications required for an illegal to get something like a drivers liscense or tuition paid. Maybe some of the qualifications would be they must have a job and a permanent residence in the U.S. Just something to ponder

7:42 PM  
Blogger Corey Wells said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

Corey you mentioned something that John Kerry said last night. He pointed out that many businesses exploit illegal immigrants since they can not do anything about it. This was something that I had not thought about.

Personally, I think that is another reason to open up our borders to any immigrants. I feel that immigration laws are an ethnocentric policy that says an immigrant is a mouth and not a mind. It says that we never expect them to do anything more than take unskilled jobs and feed off the government.

I see immigrants as people coming to this country to make their lives better. Personally, I do not think many of our own citizens do this. The fact that they take jobs that take advantage of them is proof of their dilegence. I have heard about people who have lost jobs to an illegal immigrant but I have never actually met one of these people.

Let me give you a quick situation: Daycare for my daughter will cost between $22 and $30 per day in Halstead and that is cheap compared to larger cities. There are probably many immigrants who could be nannies or daycare providers and do a wonderful job but they can not get licensed in this state. This would drive down prices and lower the child/provider ratio.

The instate tuition does the samething. It allows immigrants who are qualified to go to college, who live in the state, who asire to do more have that oppportunity. Casey think about the child who comes to this country with his parents illegally. He is 12 years old. Should we not provide any resources to this child because his parents broke the law? Is that fair to the child? This makes the child ignorant, angry, and upset at the system that is working against him. What is the benefit? Is this child going to grow up to be productive or is s/he on the road to deviance?

Let me know what you think.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Corey Wells said...

Mr. Warsnak, I have a question. If all of the illegals were deported back to their homeland would this be a supposable effect: There would be less total spending due to the massive number of consumers gone, forcing companies to raise prices, causing inflation, thus lowering the value of the dollar and hurting the economy? Just a question, tell me what you think

9:50 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

I would go a step further. There would also be fewer workers meaning competition for workers would increase. This would raise wages which could be good but it would lead to further inflation. In addition, the biggest problem is the deportation cost (known as a transition cost) and patrol of the border will leads to higher taxes or less money for social progrms. This has always been my argument about immigration. That and the fact that if a person destines to be a productive part of our society which values freedom, why should we restrict them. I see immigration has a potential not as problem.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Casey Jack said...

Okay, sorry it took me so long to reply.

First off, I think that you both have misinterpreted my opinion. I don't think that we should shut down immigration into the United States. I can see why you got the idea, considering what my post said.

I have no problem with immigrants coming into the United States. I do have two big issues with this though: Firstly, I don't think that we should benefit illegal aliens over United States citizens. It makes no sense to me why we would reward people for breaking our laws. Like the In-State Tuition - The immigrants get a discount on their education, whereas the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens still have to pay Out-Of-State price. I don't see how the government will allow them to drive legally, and go to school as though they are an In-State citizen, and then turn a blind eye to the fact that they are still illegally present in the United States.

Secondly, I must ask - why don't illegal aliens just become citizens? Many of these programs have requirements that illegal aliens must be actively seeking citizenship before they are eligible for any benefits. Not to try and bring down the character of any immigrants, but who is going to be watching these people and making sure that they are still attempting to become citizens? There are several requirements for an illegal alien to get in-state tuition, one of which is that the student must have spent 3 (or is it two) years in an American high school. If they have spent three years inside the nation and still haven't attained citizenship, what's to say that they will once they go to college?

There was a story on CNN about illegal immigrants. The host of the show stated that almost every single immigrant that she talked to wanted to be viewed as Americans, not as illegal immigrants. They were ready to go through the paperwork, they were ready to pay taxes, and they wanted to have a voice in America. But why hasn't that group become citizens yet? What or who is stopping them from doing so? If they want to do everything that American citizens do and they want to be seen as American citizens, then why don't they become American citizens? I find that perplexing.

So, No, I don't think that we should stop immigration entirely. No, I don't think that we should deport all of the illegal aliens that are already here. I DO think that there are some problems with how we are treating it today and that these problems should be fixed as soon as possible.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Casey Jack said...

And we need to get more people on this one!

I want to hear other people's opinions, since I think that the three of us already know each other's pretty well.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Corey Wells said...

Wow........ I never thought about in depth like that. Ultimatel y, deportation hurts the US on more than one level because it takes out a major workforce, while at the same time costing the US valuable spending money. Thank you for putting this perspective on the issue, it furthers my protesting against restrictions on these people.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

That would be an intersting reserach paper!!!

What are the reasons that illegal immigrants come to the country illegally instead of through legal channels. Then once they are here why do they avoid trying to become legal citizens.

Personally, I have no idea. It could be the time it takes or maybe the limits on total immigration that we use. But I really do not have any real idea.

Could be a good item to research for a paper or speech.

PS Thanks for the clarification Casey. Still, I contend the fact that we do not allow illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses means they can not get insurance which means there is an added cost to society when accidents occur. I can maybe see your point about college tuition but I like to give the poor as many cheap opportunities to go to college as possible. I am not a big fan of most current social programs for the poor and I think the best solution is to provide huge subsidies for the poor to go to college. Sadly, this probably will never happen.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

To start off this is a great topic. One that I was recently discussing with my co-workers. I am understand most of the things Casey said. But I am going to say that illegal aliens should be able to get driver licenses. This is my logic. To get a driver licenses you have to pay a fee. I do not remember but I think this fee is somewhere around $15. That is $15 that is going to the state that can help pay things that need increased money such as education. Also you have to have insurance. Insurance is not cheap, so that is money that is going into the private sector but comes out as a positive to the consumer. I recently heard a report on the news that some of the state insurance companies are asking the state to let them lower their rates because not as many claims are being made and that they are more drivers. So you can make the arguement that the more insured drivers the more money coming in the lower rates can be for all of us. I think that there should be requirements, such as a valid Social Sercuirty Number. Which if you ask around money illegal aliens do not have. I agree with the argument that most illegals take jobs that others don't want. Next time you are driving around the state look at the construction workers. A large number of them are probably illegals working and I would bet that most of them don't have a vaild SSN. So if these illegals were sent back who would fix our roads? Another point to make is that the government is cracking down on illegal aliens working for government contractors. Earlier this summer a group of illegals were picked up at Boeing because they were turned in by Boeing, because if Boeing did not turn them in then they would lose there government contracts. So that also would eliminate the construction workers working on state highways. Right there that is a large group of workers that are lost for a market that needs workers. How many of us want to be construction workers on highways when we get older. If you don't want to do it why can't an immigrant be able too.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:25 PM  
Blogger brittany said...

Illegal immigration...well, let's see. I can definitely see Jack's point when he says that we shouldn't give breaks to illegal immigrants that we don't give our citizens. But. I think that the America should NEVER close her borders to immigrants. We are the land of opportunity. Freedom. Capitalism. Our wierd form of democracy.
People WANT to be American citizens. They WANT to be a part of our society. Who cares if they take the blue collar jobs? Who cares if they go to our schools? At least they are trying to be an active part of our society. At least they are willing to work. At least they want to TRY to get an education. This is not true for many freeriding American's across the country.
My question is this. How much money do you propose we spend in humanitarian aid to foreign nations? Enough to cover out of state tuition? Granted, this does take a chunk out of the taxpayer's money...but wait...do the illegals pay taxes? Aren't those withheld automatically? Don't they pay social security? Please tell me if I am wrong.
Also, since they are willing to work for so much less, they make it possible for the producer to make much more of a profit, right? A decrease in the cost of production leads to an increase of supply, which means a decrease in the equilibrium price, right? Explain to me how this is bad for the average American.
Lastly, let me explain the foreign exchange program we have here at KU, a fairly typical state school. If I wanted to, I could travel to England next semester and pay KU in-state tuition at a decent university of choice. I am assuming that this is a reciprocated benefit, to encourage the bright college students from foreign countries to attend our universities and make the campus a diverse enough place to prepare students for the real world. Now, most of the exchange students come from a wealthier background, and this saddens me. How is this a representation of the world? (on that note, how are the two presidential candidates representative of the middle class? entirely different debate, sorry).
Basically, if out of state tuition is required for "illegal" immigrants who do live in state, we are discouraging them from letting their children learn all that America has to offer, and we are depriving many sheltered students (and believe me, I know my share...) from a cultural experience that may be undeniably necessary later on in life.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

Here is a link to the Wichita Eagle and how different candidates for the Kansas Legislature feel about the issue. I found it pretty interesting.

http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/9980816.htm

9:47 AM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

Brittany has hit on what is known as the "contact hypothesis" which say that contact between different groups in socially equal surroundings leads to less prejudice and discrimination.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Casey Jack said...

President Bush mentioned something in one of the debates (I'm not sure if it was the 2nd or 3rd) that intrigued me. He brought up the idea of an immigrant's worker's card. He said that it would allow immigrants to come in and work in the US, even if they are still not citizens. If I'm not mistaken, if an immigrant worker had such a card, then they would fall under all of the regulations of US citizen workers. I think that something like this would be great. That way, the immigrants would not get shortchanged by employers who decide to pay them less than minumum wage, employers would not cheat the government by a) hiring illegal workers in the first place, and b) not paying taxes on their employees.

Perhaps something like this could even lead the way to a sort of "half-citizenship" where they would be allowed to get things like driver's licenses and insurance and in-state tuition. Something like this makes a lot more sense to me, rather than what we've got going right now. With worker's cards (or some other equal counterpart), we would know who is in our country, we could keep our borders open, and.... other good stuff.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

I agreed with Kerry's point that illegal immigration can not just be blammed on the immigrants. The blame also falls on those who hire the illegal immigrants. I would propose serious sanctions and fines for businesses who hire illegal immigrants and pay them under minimum wage. Now if the employer pays over minimum wage I really don't mind them being hired. A lot of conservatives have disagreed with the Bush proposal but I agre that it could be very helpful.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think just one moment on this subject... if you think that ILLEGAL aliens should be allowed many of the rights of an american citizen you are just asking for humiliation. for the first part lets look at this hmmm ILLEGAL ALIENS wow i guess that means they shouldnt be in america. and in all of this i am not saying ban immigration, it is a good thing but only if it is yes in fact LEGAL. Think about are own AMERICAN citizens first then other people in the world. If we should remove the immigration barriers the country would be omre than likely over flowing with people who could not make it in their own country. Removing the barriers would be a bad thing it would most likely take many jobs away from American citizens who we should be trying to help more than others in the world.And in response to Mr. Warsnak's first post on this subject if they are here why not allow them to drive. well lets look at it again shall we... ILLEGAL ALIENS key word ILLEGAL. Instate tution for ILLEGAL ALIENS wow you have got to be kidding me. that is utterly ridiculous. There shouldnt be in state or out of state tution, it should just be the same fee for all LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZENS. And finally i do not agree with the Mr. Warsnak on how much ILLEGAL ALIENS are payed. YES it should be less than minimum wage. Why you might ask? well they are here ILLEGALLY. wow it all makes sense ILLEGAL ALIENS in america getting payed more than AMERICAN CITIZENS. HA HA HA wrong Warsnak. they should not be payed more than minimum wage ever. If they want to they should take the action to be come AMERICAN CITIZENS.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think just one moment on this subject... if you think that ILLEGAL aliens should be allowed many of the rights of an american citizen you are just asking for humiliation. for the first part lets look at this hmmm ILLEGAL ALIENS wow i guess that means they shouldnt be in america. and in all of this i am not saying ban immigration, it is a good thing but only if it is yes in fact LEGAL. Think about are own AMERICAN citizens first then other people in the world. If we should remove the immigration barriers the country would be omre than likely over flowing with people who could not make it in their own country. Removing the barriers would be a bad thing it would most likely take many jobs away from American citizens who we should be trying to help more than others in the world.And in response to Mr. Warsnak's first post on this subject if they are here why not allow them to drive. well lets look at it again shall we... ILLEGAL ALIENS key word ILLEGAL. Instate tution for ILLEGAL ALIENS wow you have got to be kidding me. that is utterly ridiculous. There shouldnt be in state or out of state tution, it should just be the same fee for all LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZENS. And finally i do not agree with the Mr. Warsnak on how much ILLEGAL ALIENS are payed. YES it should be less than minimum wage. Why you might ask? well they are here ILLEGALLY. wow it all makes sense ILLEGAL ALIENS in america getting payed more than AMERICAN CITIZENS. HA HA HA wrong Warsnak. they should not be payed more than minimum wage ever. If they want to they should take the action to be come AMERICAN CITIZENS. All of you who think that ILLEGAL ALIENS should have the same rights as LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZENS are so wrong its not even funny. This shouldnt even be a debate use some common sense and that little thing we all have called a brain and this wouldnt even be close to a debate.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry i didnt mean to post two of the same comments.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Casey Jack said...

Hmm... Mr. A. Nonymous brings up an interesting POINT.

Who or what started the idea that out-of-state students should pay more than in-state? They're already paying booku bucks to go there and leave their family hundreds of miles away, and then we hit them with higher college costs? Just wondering if there's anyone that could clarify that for me, a person who would like to go out-of-state to college.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

The post by anonymous makes an appealing argument for establishing tough barriers against illegal immigration. I might be swayed if the person would provide some sort of evidence that it would be helpful. For instance, the post says legal immigration is ok while illegal immigration must be stopped. Personally, I would like to see all immigration legalized. I doubt that the law against immigration is a real deterrent to anyone trying to get into this country. I doubt that there are people in Russia right now who want to come to the US but the only thing stopping them is the threat of deportation.

The next argument the anonymous post brings up is the fear of immigrants overrunning our county. If you can not make it in your own country then how are you going to get to the US? How is that poverty stricken person in Bulgaria going to afford to come here? Even if they arrive why is that bad? If they are willing to work then I believe they should be allowed to.

This brings up the argument that immigration takes away American jobs. I see it as an incentive to do better. I think there might be a view out there that being an American automatically means you deserve a job. That disgusts me; I believe it means you have the awesome responsibility to do even more than everyone else in the world. You should force yourself to be better educated, have better work skills, better knowledge of current events and be a renaissance person. Make yourself the best qualified and most attractive candidate for the job. If Americans are the best qualified then what is your fear of immigrants from Australia and Canada? Also the competition for jobs encourages innovation and the creation of new industries (this is why I don't mind outsourcing either).

Next comes the driving issue: here it is I think my argument is clear. Without a drivers license you can not get insurance. This means we have illegal immigrants driving without insurance and if they cause an accident then who pays? We all have to pay for uninsured motorists and here is a situation where we are literally forcing a group to drive without insurance. Is this good for our potecketbook? Shane also points out that we charge for drivers licenses which is an effective way to raise money.

The hits keep on rolling with the instate vs. out of state tuition argument. In-state tuition is like a rebate for those who pay taxes in Kansas to keep our public institutions running. The theory is since we pay for our universities, the tuition should be lower for those who reside in the state boarders. Since, I don’t pay for the upkeep of the University of Missouri; I should pay a higher tuition than somebody from Jefferson City or St. Louis. I would feel that an immigrant from Japan working within the state boarders should have the same opportunity.

Now comes the issue of pay. If we pay illegal aliens less than what is to stop American companies from bringing them over themselves and paying them slave wages? Don’t forget theses illegal immigrants are people with minds, not just mouths. They are not here to steal your job and destroy your life, but to make their own life better. Why the abrasive attitude towards those who take the enormous risk to give more to their family? Maybe I just have a higher standard for Americans but I feel that our corporations should act with compassion and that our country should be a beacon of opportunhope in the world that say if you have the ability and desire to work hard than you can be successful in our country. I would expect the same and maybe even a little bit more from the citizens of our country.

I would welcome any feedback.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

Casey, I tried to hit on your question in my response. Let me know if you need more info.

10:35 AM  
Blogger brittany said...

Three cheers for holding America to a higher standard! Should we renege on our ideals just because we're afraid some hardworking out-of-nationers are going to earn our jobs out from under us? No! Do we make these ILLEGAL aliens feel like they are worth less than Americans just because they weren't born 20 miles farther north? No!
I know I am just repeating what Warsnak said, but I felt it needed to be emphasized.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Trent V. said...

Hey all, I'll admit I've skimmed a lot of what has been said, I wish I could've spent more time reading because everyone has put thought into this discussion. This is just awesome to see. I don't think anyone has put this point into prospective, so I will try to.
Capitalism is an economic system that depends on a LARGE, underpaid work force. Imagine for a second how much grapes would cost if everyone that picked grapes was being payed minimum wage... Americans would not stand for it. So we would much rather have illegal aliens in the country and even give them concessions as long as the economy can use them to do the jobs Americans are unwilling to do. Are they exploited... yes of course they are. Will America do anything about it? Not as long as we have capitalism.

My personal thoughts: I would much rather have my grapes cost $.99/lb and have that person who picks them able to drive to pick them. Is it right? No it isn't. However, the system won't change... and no one really wants it to. Now should they get in-state tuition? Well, that I don't know. I wasn't aware that they did. I'll get back to you on that.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

I like your perspective on the situation but I am going to have to ask for some backup information. You state that capitalism depends on a LARGE uderpaid work force. I do not see this as a requisite for the system to work. You might be able to make this argument in reality only because of we do not have pure capitalism. But in theory capitalism does not require underpaid workforce. In fact under pure caitailsm it is impossible to be underpaid since payment is determined on the point of equilibrium.

Next I am not sure that grape pickers are paid under minimum wage. I would imagine that most of the grapes we eat are actually imported from Argentina or Mexico. The grapes produced in the US are probably used almost exclusively for wine production and since the actual grape picking wage is a small component of the overall price I would imagine they are paid at least the current minimum wage if not more do to the demand for grape pickers. I can not currently prove this but I would refer you to this article

Farm Labor, Immigration, and Welfare -- Philip Martin at

http://migration.ucdavis.edu/cf/comments.php?id=56_0_2_0

As far as the price of grape and the price people will pay. I do not know for sure. I saw the price of green peppers go from 33 cents to to 75 cents this year and still bought them. I think the market would stand an increase in price since people like grapes (try them frozen in the summer…wonderful!).

Currently, illegal aliens do not get in state tuition but some are pushing for it.

As always I would love to hear your response to this and other posts.

11:07 AM  

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