On June 30 Women Action Grup posted an article on Arkansas Watch blog " "Governor's Office Blasts Ballot Initiative on Illegal Aliens" You can read that article at this link: http://arkansaswatch.blogspot.com/2010_06_01_archive.html This is a follow up to that article.
Rebuttal to Beebe's Response on His Opposition to Illegal Alien Petition
Below is Governor Beebe's response to someone who emailed him about his position on opposing the Illegal Alien Petition after the email detailing the conversation with his spokesman, Matt DeCample, about Governor Beebe's position on the ballot initiative on immigration was sent. .
In bullet one below (in gray font) Beebe states that, "Legal status is verified before benefits are extended." But he doesn't say HOW they are verified. Hours of researching these various memos by the Departments' memos that supply food stamps and other state benefits reveal that there are so many loopholes and weak forms of verification that in the end almost any illegal alien can qualify. Illegal aliens can be given benefits based on about twenty things including affidavits saying they are U.S. Citizens. Once their verification is accepted by one Arkansas department, then other departments must accept that verification. And it is noted in the Medicaid Department memos that illegal aliens do not have to prove citizenship to get prenatal care. That benefit was a gift from Governor Huckabee without legislation even being passed.
Why not require the same certification for receiving benefits that is required in bullet 2 below for a driver's license – a birth certificate or a passport rather than the numerous other substitutes the state is now accepting as certification for receiving benefits. The need for those was pointed out to me by a Cuban legal immigrant who had had a great deal of experience working with illegal aliens in Arkansas. She told us that requiring a birth certificate or passport for verification would take care of 90% of the problems and that is the documentation used by other countries to verify citizenship.
Also in bullet one below Beebe says that "Any attempt to defraud the system [by the illegal immigrants] to gain benefits is a criminal offense." Big Deal! The illegal aliens have already committed a crime when they crossed our borders illegally. And just how many illegal immigrants have been charged, prosecuted, or sentenced? (Have you ever heard of any? And if they were charged, what is the penalty for the fraud?
Perhaps Beebe's office could supply us with the number of prosecutions for defrauding the system. The Hispanic Center here in Arkansas admitted in a TV news program that "some illegal immigrants take advantage of public benefits, but she said many use them out of necessity." Our own citizens would like to use them "out of necessity" as well. Arkansans understand that for everyone who is given something, someone else has something taken away.
And what would they do with the illegal aliens if they charged and prosecuted them? Deport them? No, Beebe said even in his response below that "The State of Arkansas does not have the legal authority to deport anyone." (Maybe the feds WOULD deport them if they were charged with a crime?)
So the only solution would be to put them in prison and pay the huge costs associated with the prosecution and the imprisonment costs. Beebe acknowledges below that he WILL NOT spend the money to arrest them and detain them for their crime of illegally crossing our border, - then why would he arrest them and detain them for defrauding our state benefits? And why would the illegal aliens be afraid to defraud the system if they see no one being charged for coming here illegally or for illegally applying for benefits? This is a perfect example of how ignoring one crime leads to another crime and then to a cover up and to the dilemma in which we now find ourselves in our country.
And we see why so many Arkansans and those that worked in the offices where state benefits are given are correct when they say that illegal aliens are getting all kinds of benefits for which taxpayers are paying.
It has already been proven that illegal aliens don't have to be deported if their jobs and benefits are withdrawn. They leave on their own accord. That is why it is so important that the ballot initiative to prevent persons unlawfully present in the United States from receiving our state benefits be adopted.
Governor Beebe refers to another law in Arkansas in the 3rd bullet below: Beebe states in the 3rd paragraph that Arkansas law requires state government agencies to certify that "it, and any subcontractors with which it does business, does not employ illegal immigrants." "The state has the ability to terminate contracts with those who do not comply with this law." But is this being enforced? Have you heard of any businesses that have been denied contracts for not complying with this law? Could the state not make the contractors keep a copy of a birth certificate or a passport of their workers on hand and randomly check those records and verify the citizenship of their workers? Terminating just a couple of contracts might make the other companies stop hiring illegal aliens.
And we know that legislators have written bills that would strengthen our laws in Arkansas, but because Governor Beebe has such a high approval rating and so much influence those bills either never made it out of committee or failed to pass.
Regarding his last paragraph below where Beebe has called on Congress to pass meaningful immigration reform, we all know what Congress tried to pass before and is trying to pass now – amnesty and the Dream Act where college students get scholarships and in state tuition, the very law the legislators in Arkansas voted down. Then there would be no limits at all on benefits – just what the Democrats seem to want. That is what they call meaningful reform!
Our governor and most Democrats cling to their agenda even though 94% of the responders in a KAIT poll this week voted Yes on the following question. "Would you vote for a state constitutional amendment to deny state social services to illegal immigrants? Yes or No
Below is the email Governor Beebe's office sent to a constituent. In this email Beebe' office did not say that he was opposing the petition even though his office adamantly proclaimed they opposed it as detailed in an earlier email sent to you.
From: Jenny Boshears
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 9:45 AM
Subject: RE: Petition
Governor Beebe has seen your e-mail concerning immigration issues and has asked me to respond to you.
The Governor shares your concerns about the impact of illegal immigration on Arkansas. State government has taken a number of steps to ensure that the State is not spending tax dollars to employ illegal immigrants or support illegal immigration:
• In Arkansas, illegal immigrants are prevented – by law and regulation – from receiving welfare, food stamps, free medical care provided by the State and heating assistance. Legal status is verified before benefits are extended. Any attempt to defraud the system to gain benefits is a criminal offense.
• Arkansas requires all applicants for a driver’s license to supply two documents confirming their legal status, such as a birth certificate or a passport. Any attempt to defraud the system to get a driver’s license is a criminal offense.
• In 2007, Governor Beebe signed Act 157 which prohibits state government agencies from contracting with businesses that employ illegal immigrants. This prohibition extends to subcontractors as well. Any business that wishes to bid for a state contract must certify that it, and any subcontractor with which it does business, does not employ illegal immigrants. The state has the ability to terminate contracts with vendors who do not comply with this law.
Governor Beebe believes that the ultimate responsibility to secure our nation’s borders and enforce our immigration laws lies with the federal government, and he has said many times that he will not raise taxes in Arkansas to do a job that Arkansas’s citizens are paying the federal government to do. The State of Arkansas does not have the legal authority to deport anyone. To arrest and detain illegal immigrants would require new taxes to expand our already-crowded state prisons and county jails. To hold illegal immigrants in the State’s custody until federal officials retrieve them for deportation could cost millions in additional State revenue, annually. To do so while our nation’s borders are not secure does nothing to prevent illegal immigrants from returning to the United States, and to Arkansas, almost immediately after they are deported.
Governor Beebe has called on Congress to address this issue and to pass meaningful immigration reform that will secure our borders and uphold the laws of the United States, while at the same time providing opportunities for individuals who wish to enter our country legally to do so.
Women Action Group