Immigrant watch | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Immigrant watch

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Gov. Mike Beebe. State benefits for immigrants. Jim Holt comments. Correction: Sent out under Holt's name, but actually from his ally, Debbie Pelley.


Governor Beebe Fooling the People
On The Ballot Initiative to Curb Benefits for Illegal Aliens
(Beebe says he opposes the initiative; saying it would only duplicate state and federal laws;  he doesn’t tell the peoplethat almost any benefit (welfare, health  unemployment benefits, food and housing assistance, loans,  licenses etc.)  forbidden to aliens by the federal government can be given to them by the state - if the state just passes a law to do so. And there are many so called "compassionate" liberals in Arkansas just waiting to do that. )
Governor Mike Beebe announced that he will oppose the initiated act by the people that  would allow citizens in Arkansas to vote in November to bar illegal aliens from receiving certain state services.  May 20, 08 “Illegal-alien act faulty” by Michael Wickline
Governor Beebe said that the initiative “would duplicate state and federal laws” and that 
“All of the proposal’s major provisions already are covered by federal or state laws.”  Governor Beebe is playing the usual deceptive political tricks.  Beebe knows quite well that legislators tried to pass, and will most likely try to pass more laws in the future, that actually contradict those federal laws of which he speaks – laws that would GIVE illegal aliens more benefits rather than DENY them benefits.  Even if the laws are challenged, Beebe knows they can be upheld by a liberal judge.
Beebe was the one who issued the Attorney General opinion in 2005 on HB1525 by Joyce Elliott that would have given college scholarships and in-state tuition to illegal aliens. Beebe’s opinion indicated the law could very well violate federal statutes. The law still passed the Arkansas House and barely failed in the Senate after a royal battle. 
Beebe knows that Senator Wilkins also tried to get the basic tenants of HB1525 passed again this last session.  If this Secure Arkansas initiative does not pass, we can look for a battle in this area, as well as other similar areas,  every session.  In fact, Joyce Elliott stated last week that she may bring the measure back before the Legislature next year. The ballot initiative that Beebe opposes would settle the matter because it specifically denies these postsecondary benefits to illegal aliens.  That is just one example that contradicts Beebe’s assertions that Arkansas is protected by federal law.  
And is Beebe just being deceitful or has he forgotten about federal law, 8-USC-Section 1621 (d) which actually says the states can pass laws to give illegal aliens state & local public benefits?  The immigration lawyer by the name of Yates tried to use that law in 2005 to prove that Joyce Elliott’s HB1525 for instate tuition and scholarships for illegal aliens did not violate federal law.  There was one little or big problem with Yates’ opinion:  another federal law 8 USC Section 1623 (a) added restrictions that made HB1525 violate federal law.
State laws can be passed that would extend a number of benefits to illegal aliens.  That law, 8-USC-Section 1621 (d), reads:  "A State may provide that an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States is eligible for any State or local public benefit for which such alien would otherwise be ineligible under subsection (a) of this section only through the enactment of a State law after August 22, 1996, which affirmatively provides for such eligibility.”
So why is Beebe trying to fool the people of Arkansas into thinking they are safe under federal laws when all he and the legislature have to do is pass a law in Arkansas to allow benefits for illegal aliens?
Subsection (a) referred to above includes the following:
(c) “State or local public benefit” defined
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), for purposes of this subchapter the term “State or local public benefit” means—
(A) any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of a State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government; and
(B) any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of a State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government.
The Secure Arkansas initiative would prevent such laws from being passed that allow such benefits.  And based on (a) the bills the legislature has tried to pass in the past; (b) the fact that our Governor is not doing anything to curb benefits as several surrounding states have done, and (c) on the fact that Arkansas is one of the top three states in the percentage of growth in recent years, Arkansas needs to be secured by passing the initiative by the people to deny benefits for illegal aliens before laws are passed to expand benefits for them.  And the taxpayers will pick up the tab.
And if the federal laws are our safeguard, how did all these sanctuary cities spring up around the nation?  How have other states allowed certain health benefits and drivers'  licenses, and other such benefits for aliens?.
And if federal laws are enough, why in 2007 from January to July alone did  170 bills related to immigration become law in 41 states, and why is the same scenario unfolding in 2008 with twenty-six states having enacted 44 laws just from January to March?  And how did Governor Huckabee give prenatal care to hundreds of illegal aliens in Arkansas without even a vote in the legislature?
Since Beebe's assertions in his statement of opposition to the initiative were designed to make the people supporting the initiative appear foolish, it is only fair that citizens be  given the other side of the story.  Considering  the federal law ( 8-USC-Section 1621 (d) -  which can supersede federal restraints on benefits to aliens, and the number of states and governors enacting laws, Beebe's reasons for opposing the initiative are groundless, unreasonable, and deceitful.  Having been attorney general, he surely knows the law.
To read it on the blog and make comments, see this link:

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