We can discuss the weighty obligations that fall to those who choose to serve in elected office and thereby come to possess the tax gun. Emphatically absent from that list of obligations is to cast an ever widening net – in this case, beyond the borders of our country – in search of wrongs to right or consequences of individual free will choices with the intention of ameliorating them.
Bills recently introduced in the General Assembly would, if passed, grant official state drivers licenses and in-state college tuition rates to undocumented immigrants. These proposals would be implemented at the expense of both the entity (the state of Rhode Island) that our elected officials have been elected to represent as well as the sovereignty of the country whose constitution they have taken an oath to uphold.
Contrary to Rep Diaz’ assertion at her press conference Thursday, offering in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants would, in fact, cost the taxpayers. The state would be forced to pick up that shortfall in tuition. And if, as has been asserted, officials on the state level have no obligation to enforce federal laws, it would be reasonable, by the same logic, that officials on the state level take no action to encourage people to break federal law. In fact, both of these proposals would have the effect of enticing people to break federal immigration laws to get to Rhode Island – because look, when we get there, we can pass as documented with our Rhode Island drivers licenses and – major bonus – we will be able to attend state universities at in-state tuition rates!
At Rep Diaz’ press conference Thursday, Attorney Robert Gonzalez called upon the General Assembly “to do what’s right”. Indeed, yes, honorable members of the Rhode Island General Assembly. Do the right thing. Demonstrate restraint when employing the tax gun with which we have entrusted you.