FEBRUARY 12, 2010
A Midwest state that saw hundreds of illegal immigrants arrested in the nation’s largest workplace raids wants to offer undocumented aliens a precious taxpayer-financed benefit by passing a controversial law previously defeated in its legislature.
A bill in the Iowa House (Iowa Opportunities and Workforce Act) aims to give illegal immigrants discounted in-state tuition—not even granted to U.S. citizens of other states—at public colleges and universities. Ten states—including California, Texas, New York and Illinois—currently offer illegal immigrants the costly perk which has been legally challenged in at least two states.
At the request of immigration advocates, sympathetic Iowa legislators have twice attempted to pass a measure to grant illegal aliens tuition at the cheaper resident rates. In 2004 a bill was approved by the state House but defeated in the Senate and three years later the measure was re-introduced but stalled before reaching the House floor.
Proponents of illegal immigrants are confident that the third time is the charm. The Democrat from Des Moines (Ako Abdul-Samad) who recently introduced the bill for the third time assures “it’s a win-win for Iowa” that will increase citizenship in the state. The congressman guarantees that he will continue introducing the measure until it becomes law.
Iowa lawmakers seem to think that offering illegal immigrants benefits will solve many of the serious issues that surfaced after headline-breaking raids at meatpacking plants in Marshalltown and Postville in 2006 and 2008. Hundreds of illegal aliens were caught using fake Social Security numbers to work at the factories and many ended up getting criminally charged or deported.
One of the state’s largest cities, Iowa City, has responded to the events by trying to adopt a sanctuary ordinance that would ban employers and police from asking people about their legal status. If it passes, Iowa City would join dozens of other sanctuary cities across the nation, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Madison, Wisconsin and Phoenix.
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