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The Real side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015

joemessinamugI am furious – partly because many on the left will say this never happens … and if and when it does, it’s once in a great while. Well, guess what? It’s happened again.

Many of you know I am a school board member for the William S. Hart Union High School District. I also host a radio show and usually try to keep those two things very separate. However, in this case, it’s almost impossible.

I do stories all the time about American citizens or legal U.S. residents or even people who are here on work visas and so on. In most cases, they work hard to be here, get here and be good citizens of the areas they live in.

I was contacted this week by a mother who was having trouble registering her children in the district. They got all of their paperwork together, went to the school in the area they live in, and registered – or tried to register their children.

The parents are here on a work visa, all legal and above board. The children had to be brought in on a “tourist” visa because the children were not coming here for work.

Now, the district works hard to follow federal and state immigration and education law. So the children and I met; both of them are from the Philippines, speak good English, are bright and energetic and love it here. But they have been denied access to education because of the type of visas they have.

So much for the government wanting to help all children get an education.

I did some more checking, and there was a common theme in our district and others. It seems if the kids and the parents had said there were here “illegally” – not undocumented or without papers but “illegally” – then the questioning would have stopped, and they would have been admitted.

So know we encourage people to lie? Are we punishing people for being honest and doing the right thing?

Where do I go from here? This isn’t right. If people in this country illegally get a pass for education, then why not those who simply have the wrong LEGAL paperwork? This is of no fault of the children.

This is not an immigration issue. It’s not a political issue. As a trustee for the Hart District, my job is to make sure all kids have the opportunity to get a great education. The best we can provide. The parents are here working and paying taxes.

I haven’t given up yet. These kids deserve the same treatment and opportunity to education that all kids coming to this country and those already here should have.

I have no call to action for you except to ask for your support in getting these kids and others in similar situations an education. If you want to respond, then my question would be: Shouldn’t we hold all groups to the same standard and educate all kids who are here?

 

Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also an elected member of the Hart School Board. His commentary publishes Mondays.

 

 

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14 Comments

  1. Don says:

    I do not agree with how hard you, “Joe Messina” or anyone else works to provide anything , for anyone who comes to the United States on anything, visa, no visa, vacation and decides to stay and begin to work, and seek health care, and education. We have enough poor, homeless, uneducated, deprived, and denied of what’s legally and
    rightfully theirs. Since you’re in such a great position with the school district to “work so hard”, (or ask a few favors from some of your school district buddies) and help these individuals receive the proper education at which you think they deserve. Maybe open your eyes and look around at what’s happening to our own legal, native citizens of this country, and start with that issue first. Or is it going to be another song and dance about how those kids don’t belong in a public school because of their upbringing, or backgrounds, or the neighborhoods they live in, etc. there are ways to handle everything, so why are you willing to start with “visa or not” they are still illegals in my country, instead of our own? Is it to much work for you Mr. Messina?

  2. Anthony D. Zinnanti says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for your service to the community. I enjoy your ed/op pieces.

    California is a state that rewards illegal immigrants for violating federal law and punishes citizens for exercising federal rights (to wit, Second Amendment rights).

    I practiced immigration law some time ago and, from time to time, still deal with immigration appellate matters. Yes, it is better to be illegal. The LA Times ran a piece yesterday about the extraordinary protections and “rights” that illegal aliens are afforded and the de facto “California citizenship” that results.

    It sounds like these kids were issued the wrong visa. There is a plethora of visas available for dependents of temporary workers. So, for example, if this is an H-1B worker with dependents, the kids should have been granted an H-4 visa, not a B-2 visa. A B-2 visa expressly prohibits the enrollment into public education other than the enrollment into a limited English study program so as to effect the purpose of tourism.

    This is one of the reasons I quit doing immigration law as a regular matter. You ask 10 immigration officials and you get 12 different answers.

    Best of luck. Your heart is in the right place.

    Best –

    Tony

  3. Don says:

    How many more individuals from other countries are we going to allow to enter our country and begin work, school, receiving health care, education, and so on? Because the more it happens, the more our own people stay homeless, become homeless, struck with illness, death from lack of healthcare, uneducated non productive members of society? Business owners higher illegals all the time for cheaper labor rates, while our fellow American brothers and sisters go hungry, homeless, and in need of medical attention, so they get to go to the free health clinics and get butchered up, while good old Ofelia Menendez Gonzalez is receiving top notch care for herself and her unborn baby, and she’s a total 100% illegal immigrant who doesn’t speak a word of English, but is raping my peoples benefits. And yes that says raping, not reaping. Let me tell you something, until our own American population is taken care of, I could give a rats ass about some illegal and her children. They knew they had it rough when she was impregnated, but proceeded to do so anyways, knowing that they would come here and get treated like royalty. Close the boarders, and all you pro immigrants deserve a better life people, trade them places then, let them here, and you go live where they did if it’s so unfair. Get a clue America, we are loosing, and are children are loosing a battle they haven’t even encountered yet from the idiotic mentality of people like Joe and Anthony who wrote above.

  4. Our society is great, the people who do it right get penalized and the people in the wrong get the rewards.

  5. Nelson Cox Nelson Cox says:

    Shouldn’t the parents have requested student visas? Or what obstacles kept them from coming here with a student visa instead? Had the school accepted them as “tourist visa” holders then they’d also be “illegal.” Is there an immigration or education attorney who can help them make this happen for them?

  6. Joe says:

    I usually don’t respond… Some of you totally missed my point. No Im NOT for illegal immigration/rights. HOWEVER I am for everyone being treated or given equal treatment. If we are allowing “Illegals” to go to school here on the premise that every child deserves and education. Then those that are here by doing it or trying to do it the right way should be allowed to be educated as well. I do not know whether they were given the wrong info as to what visa to apply for or not. Just that its wrong to reward illegal behavior and punish those who try to do the right thing…

    • Christina Rodriguez says:

      I understood your article and thought it was pretty clear. I feel bad for these children too, as they are just victims of circumstance. I hope that someone can assist them in this matter.

  7. Yaeko Tsuboi Yaeko Tsuboi says:

    No matter what’s the reson, Illegally to US. No excuse.

  8. Lic. Jorge E. Barba B. says:

    Hello,
    I graduated from a Christian College, tried to stayed
    In the US, but there was NO single way, was
    obliged to leave my family in the US! Friends
    that went into the illegally are American
    citizens now through lying and so on! America
    has been known for making the illegal
    something legal! I want to go back now with
    higher education from California and I am
    not able to do so! It is a backwards country!
    God bless America though:)

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