'Another step toward creating an apartheid system'

Up until yesterday we were batting zero for five among gubernatorial candidates getting the right answer on what to do about the community college issue around illegal immigration. Here's where things stand.

Candidates Smith, Graham, Orr, Moore and Perdue all say no one in this country illegally should be allowed to pay out-of-state tuition to attend community college. Easley weighed in after the fact with a bit of sanity, saying colleges should be able to accept these individuals. So did Martin Lancaster, president of the community college system. (That post at the Dome brought a record number of ALIPAC xenophobes out of the woodwork.)

Yesterday, the 6th gubernatorial candidate, Libertarian Mike Munger, was asked for his opinion by Gary Robertson of the Associated Press.

Easley found one unlikely ally Monday in Mike Munger, the Libertarian candidate for governor. "To withhold the right even to attend to people who are paying taxes in North Carolina seems to me just another step toward creating an apartheid system with second class non-citizens," Munger said in a statement.

Robertson's a good reporter who plays on the level. I'm glad to see him include Mr. Munger in his story. Libertarians are a strange breed, but I have to say, their national party's position on immigration has a lot going for it.

Where do you think Pat McCrory stands on the issue?


Munger makes a great point

What's so bizarre in this debate is that no one else has made this fundamental point:

To withhold the right even to attend to people who are paying taxes in North Carolina . . .

I don't hear any of Alipacnuts saying immigrants shouldn't pay taxes if they're working here illegally . . . just that they shouldn't get jack-shit for the taxes they do pay.

Throughout our history we have had a boogyman................

The Zar...The Germans...The Japanese...The Chinese...The Soviets....Osama Bin Laden...The Muslims...The Iranians.....New Immigrants......Undocumented immigrants......The CHILDREN of undocumented Immigrants...... Last night I heard Shawn Hannidy refer to Mexicans coming from Mexico as Terrorist........When we lose one enemy to fear.... Our Republican President will have another waiting right around the corner....

Denying Immigrants access to our colleges is denigrating our North Carolina heritage of welcoming undocumented field workers who have helped to ensure our agricultural base for over 75 years.

These people who we are trying to criminalize, for the very most part, are honest, hardworking, respectful of our social norms and DO PAY TAXES!........ I have become very weary of this ridiculas argument.

If criminalizing and arguing against Undocumented immigrants and their children, many of whom are American Citizens, makes one more "American", or "Patriotic" than me....So be it.

We do need to secure our borders....but trying to make "Political" milage on the backs of these people is simply not something I can agree with.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Munger often makes sense.

I've got to get that petition signed and back to his office.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

It's "the emperor has no clothes" factor.

A Libertarian candidate can say the obvious truth that more conventional (and timid) leaders are afraid to admit.

Libertarians tend to be like stopped clocks, always pointing to the same philisophical tenet: Government regulation or involvement is bad.

When they're right, they're dead on. (Warrantless wiretapping, anti-immigrant overkill.)

On the other hand, then you look at areas like pollution control, health care, public schools, auto safety rules...

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

A fair point, but....

I see your point, Mr. Besse. But, two questions:

1. Libertarians, like Democrats, have widely varying views on the scope of government. Personally, I favor "less." Some of my colleagues, it is true, favor "none." We need less for a long time on civil unions, death penalty, immigration restrictions, police and prosecutorial misconduct. Why can't we take it case by case? Government is not always the answer; neither is it never the answer.

2. The real question is a harder one, and for you personally, sir: If the Dem gov candidates can't get THIS right, why do you think they will get the OTHER matters right, once they are in office and the siren's song on interest group money starts to fill their ears?

Mike Munger

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Case by case

Always a good idea - especially since it avoids the lunacy of "slippery slope" debates.

The position of the two Democratic Gubernatorial candidates

on this issue was extremely disappointing to me, and seemed as if they were pandering to the farthest right edge of our party. I have the same question - why didn't they get this one right? It seemed simple to me. Even Mike Easley, who is not the most progressive of Democrats, was able to see the correct answer. For goodness sake, even Mike Huckabee gave a similar answer in a Republican Presidential debate.

I have appreciated your candor through this whole season, Mike, and anticipate more as we get closer to the election. I've read your website, and your thoughts on many issues are well-laid out, but several that I care about are not really touched on. So I'd like to ask them now.

What are your thoughts about health care? Do you think that the state, or we, as citizens, have a role in the provision of health care?

You are quite clear in your thoughts about public education and the use of vouchers to support it. Do you think that public education should extend below the kindergarten level (defined as age 5 in NC)?

I look forward to your answers - and the answers of any other candidate for any office who happens to be reading. :) Thanks.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Broad philosophical differences.

Mr. Munger, you've asked a fair question.

If the Democratic candidates for governor miss this important point, on what can we expect them to be right? Or, at least, more right than the standard Libertarian philosophy stressing less government intervention and less regulation of economic activities. I have some examples.

Health care for children and the economically disadvantaged. The "private market" has failed to produce health care coverage for nearly 50 million Americans, producing a level of unmet need and human suffering for lack of basic access that is the shame of the industrialized world. Our costs of coverage, even for the insured, also continue to skyrocket as a result.

Environmental and public health protection. The Libertarian philosophy of cutting back on regulation would produce horrific results in these areas. Market solutions can be a good part of pollution control, but to expect them to do the job alone is ivory-tower foolishness.

Public education. Our public schools are the single most effective source of true equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, gender, or economic status, ever devised. Do they have flaws? Absolutely, and we must be about improving them. Is the solution a drain of tax money into a voucher system, further stressing the public school system that is the bedrock of our educational opportunity? No!

Our Democratic candidates are far from perfect. You could list at great length the individual flaws for us all. Despite that, will I put the basic stewardship and social justice principles of the Democratic party up against Libertarianism any day? You bet!

In closing, I want to emphasize that I mean absolutely no personal disrepect to you, Mr. Munger, and I respect your willingness to engage in public policy debate. My description of the basic tenets of Libertarian philosophy as I have heard and read them described may well not reflect your personal views on every topic. If so, that's great--you're welcome on the good side on these issues!

Thanks much for the invitation to discussion.


Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

Public Schools

Public education. Our public schools are the single most effective source of true equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, gender, or economic status, ever devised. Do they have flaws? Absolutely, and we must be about improving them. Is the solution a drain of tax money into a voucher system, further stressing the public school system that is the bedrock of our educational opportunity? No!

No offense to you and all the hard-working educators out there, but if public schools really are the best examples of equal opportunity, we might as well give up on the whole concept of equal opportunity. Public schools, be they in my home county or throughout the state are clearly unequal opportunities and there are very clear differences along racial and class lines.

still the best opportunity for equality

You're forgetting how much less opportunity would be available to the non-wealthy if the public schools did not exist, and those other than the children of wealth and privilege had no schools to attend without paying tuition that their families don't have.

Of course we need to do a better job of providing fully equal opportunity within our schools to students regardless of family wealth. We cannot make progress toward that goal for the great majority of children in our society without starting with the public schools and focusing on strengthening and improving them.

As a child of a public school teacher and a graduate of our public school system, I am determined to be a part of that effort.

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

The question is, then,

Exactly whose fault is that? I am quite aware of how many decry the the current state of public education, but let's move beyond that to specifics. Whose fault is it? The teachers? Administrators? School boards? County Commissions? Taxpayers? Parents? Communities that segregate themselves and then segregate their schools (be it based upon race or upon economic status)?

Lastly, I would second Dan's response below and argue education is the best example. Can you name a better one that is open to all?

Since the government is the

Since the government is the country's largest polluter (and of course makes itself immune to its own pollution laws), I really do disagree with you that the government is the best solution to "pollution control." It can't control its own pollution, how can we expect it to control others'?

There are good arguments to be made for the other aspects you also mentioned, but the explanations can get lengthier.

That's the question, isn't it?

Munger's saying that line gets drawn in this case when you're paying your fair share of taxes - which many workers who are not legal immigrants are indeed paying.

I think the point is

most of the children that Lancaster's statement is dealing were brought to this country by parents when they were not of an age when they could choose to stay in the country of their birth. The children did not break the law; their parents did. So how do you punish someone whose parents involved them in a crime when they were, say, 4 years old? Do you deny them a chance to educate themselves? Do you deny them a way to make themselves a contributing member of United States society and community? Or do you work with what we've got, and go from there.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

They're adults now

So they've been living here illegally for something less than 18 years because they were forced too. Fine.

Now that they're over 18, they are adults. They are now legally responsible for themselves.

In the case of someone who could be admitted to CC, they've already been rewarded by their parents lawbreaking by receiving a high-school education at taxpayer expense. Even with the pathetic condition of some of NC's schools, this is almost always a far better education than they could have received in their country of origin.

Now that they are in this country and it's their own fault they continue to be here, please tell me why they should be continued to be rewarded for continued lawbreaking that is their own responsibility?

When their younger sibling anchor baby comes of age they can get right back in anyway.

The same logic extends to a

The same logic extends to a few other things. For instance, I never personally paid taxes before attending an in-state school, my parents had. If I had gone to another state, I would have been charged the full going rate. I can't help where my parents decided to live, though! It's not my fault that their tax dollars didn't go to support the neighboring state's university.

With that logic, I think it's only fair that illegal immigrants should be charged the full rate of the school as any out-of-state taxpayer's child would, but still be allowed to attend. Their parents aren't paying state income taxes, which are what presumably go to pay for those schools (at least by the logic usually given that someone must be a resident in the state to attend at the in-state rate). If they are paying Social Security and Medicare withholding taxes as many illegal immigrants do (with a borrowed SS number), those are for federal programs and have nothing to do with the state.

Not allowing them to attend at all is a type of apartheid as Professor Munger points out-- although, it doesn't really make sense to send someone to college for a job they aren't legally allowed to hold.

To become a citizen of this country...

these days you have to be able to fork over almost $700. I know, because I recently did it. I'm pretty sure a lot of those "illegals" can't afford that, I barely could and I'm here legally.

Left on 49

Have you applied for citizenship?

If so, welcome - (again). :)

What was the $700 for? An attorney? Fees to the government?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Paying off the INS?....juuuuuust kidding


We're so glad you're here.

I'd like to let in more people from France, if they wanted to come. Why France? Just to mess with the Republicans. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

It's just the USCIS (former INS) fee.

The $700 is just the regular fee to apply for citizenship. There is of course no guarantee that you'll actually get your citizenship, you still have to do a "test".

Left on 49

Higher education eclipses

other societal benefits like state-subsidized health care or housing assistance, in that the learning and growth involved will make the individual less likely to be a "burden" on society in the future.

That truth doesn't change when analyzing if a person is a legal citizen or not.

The best way to become a contributing member of United States' society and community would be first to become a citizen of that society and community - if one was serious about becoming a contributor.

There are millions of American citizens living on Welfare who contribute very little to the vision you have of society and community, and an extremely high percentage of those are high school dropouts.

If someone has the drive and desire to improve themselves through higher education, it doesn't matter if they're a citizen or not. Even if they don't stay in the community/city/state/country where they gained their education, and they go back home to Mexico, Guatemala, etc., they will improve the overall conditions of whatever community they settle in. By this process, the need for illegal immigration from these areas should lessen, actually.

Higher education is not (should not be) a carrot, it is a calling. When that calling happens it has to be answered, or society itself will suffer.

I think you're confusing "citizen"

with "legal resident". Are you? Do you wish to see legal residents who have not yet attained citizenship but who have followed all the rules to get here legally denied benefits to which they are entitled?

It might seem that I am playing a game of semantics, but often that's what this issue boils down to, and I think we have to be very clear about whom we are speaking.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Right on Target

Well stated.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke


That's a bit different from the question involving children of undocumented immigrants being able to attend community colleges at out of state tuition rates, which is what scharrison was addressing, I think. Also, I believe that in his paradigm, he is working from a global citizen perspective, rather than a US citizen perspective. That's just my reading.

The line has already been drawn. It's there. The decision that must be made, at least in the NC Community College conundrum, is this: to whom does the line apply? Does it apply to children who had no part in the decision to come to this country? I suppose that question is for the legal eagles of the attorney general's office at this point, and probably at some point it will wind up in the courts. Personally, I say no, it does not. Children cannot be held liable for the choices their parents make.

I don't think there should be a definitive line dividing every single issue, either. I think there are many issues that should be decided on a case by case basis, and others that should give "credit" for years of paying into a tax system and getting no benefit from it.

But that's just my opinion.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Down here, Rip.

For some reason I can't reply to a comment without being continually kicked off, but I can get away with normal thread comments (most of the time). At any rate:

Where does the line get drawn that a person who is not a citizen of the United States must finally become a citizen to take advantage of the benefits our country offers?

Do you have an answer or do you just know that participating in our system of higher education is not it?

I think it's important to differentiate between benefits which are "entitlement"-oriented, and those that require an equal (if not greater) effort on the part of the beneficiary and constitute a net gain for all of society. I believe education is one of the latter.

There are also many Americans who cannot afford to answer the "calling" of higher education.

From my understanding of this specific issue, the undocumented student hopefuls are paying their own tuition, as opposed to receiving grants or other tuition assistance. So they're not taking away funding from/for Americans, but they may be taking up "seats" that could be used for poor Americans. I don't know about that.

But they are American citizens...does that not matter to you?

Yeah, well. There's a whole lot of people in this world who weren't lucky enough to be born here.

I beg your pardon? You claim to know my vision of society and community?

Touche'. :)

Okay, perhaps I am merely demonstrating my ignorance again,

but I am not quite sure how to interpret Mr. Munger's original quote in Anglico's post. Munger said,

North Carolina seems to me just another step toward creating an apartheid system with second class non-citizens.

I am not sure that this is not really the issue, because the people in question are already non-citizens. Therefore, is it really possible to legally segregate someone who's mere presence is a violation of the law?

Semantics aside, this issue has lodged in my mind. What I think is somewhat humorous, at least in an ironic way, is (WARNING :BLANKET ASSUMPTION AHEAD) that the people who seem to be most antagonistic to the mere presence of illegal immigrants would identify themselves as "evangelicals."

I feel the need to offer a logical proposition, with the above assumption.
Premise 1: The people who are most antagonistic to the presence of illegal immigrants are likely to identify themselves as evangelicals.
Premise 2: Evangelicals, as a whole, affirm that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is applicable to all matters of life. (I am intentionally making this assumption as well as shortening a lengthier side proof.)
Premise 3: The Bible says in numerous places to treat the "sojourner" (i.e., non-native) the same as the native- to not have two standards of law. Many references can be supplied if needed, but here is one: "He [God] executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing" (Deuteronomy 10:18 ESV).
Conclusion: The people who are most antagonistic to the presence of illegal immigrants are violating the very standard that they say they hold most dear, that is the Bible. Stated again for effect: there is no logical support for denying illegal immigrants any service if basing the argument on the Bible.

If the above is true, then what really is the source of the debate?

Hate and prejudice are ugly things, and I believe that everyone struggles with it to some degree. I know that it is in my heart, and I have to battle it so that it doesn't gain control. On this I must agree with Stephen Jackson's conclusion in his post at the Progressive Pulse entitled "The dirty truth behind immigration and economic fear-mongering".

resident legal alien / US citizen

It's important to know the difference.
I've been a legal resident alien in the US, since 2000. The only right I don't have, is the right to vote here.
I applied for my citizenship half a year ago, but because of the backlog at the USCIS I might not even get to vote in the 2008 election.
Just remember, you can be here completely legally like me, without having to be a citizen. The problem is that it costs a heck of a lot of money.
The fees to apply for both legal resident alien status and applying for citizenship keep skyrocketing.
If you check the USCIS website you'll see that applying for legal resident alien status costs $1,010 now. Once you get that status you have to be here for 5 years before you can apply for citizenship, which costs $675. So to get from a status of being here illegally to being a citizen costs you close to $2000 and that's without you using any kind of legal counseling.
Not something a lot of Mexicans could afford I'm sure.

Left on 49

Undocumented immigrants cannot apply for citizenship.

That's why we're debating little issues like community college admissions. If they could apply for legal residence and citizenship, most would. And while my friend LiberalNC is right that it would be difficult, MANY would be willing to pay the application fee and any fine they would have to pay for being here illegally.

As another post explored, it's not amnesty if a punishment comes along with acceptance. Let's welcome people who want to become legal residents and hard working Americans. As with any time people break one of our laws, there are multiple legal responses: jail time, fines, deportation, pardons, commuted sentences, community service, etc.

In this case, let's levy fines on people who want to stay and then provide them a path to do so. It's not amnesty but it is fair.

insane AND hilarious!

A commenter at The Dome is now complaining about "illegals" because they make him wait longer in the line at Walmart.
You can't make this shit up.

Left on 49

Insane for sure.



More on the debate here.

Well, if they would shop at local stores

instead of buying cheap plastic crap at big-box stores, they wouldn't have to worry about it, would they?


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi