American Elephants

“Illegals Have Earned a Right to Be Citizens” Huh? by The Elephant's Child

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke to the United States Conference of Mayors on Friday. He told his audience that the approximately eleven million people who are in the country illegally have “earned the right to be citizens.” This was one of his first public speeches since being confirmed as the chief of the Department of Homeland Security in December.

“It is also, frankly, in my judgment, a matter of who we are as Americans,” he said to offer the opportunity to those who want to be citizens, who’ve earned the right to be citizens, who are present in this country — many of whom came here as children — to have the opportunity that we all have to try to become American citizens.”

They have not “earned” any such right. They are illegal. The rule of law means something in this country, and if you break it you have to face the consequences. Children of parents who break the law usually have consequences — depending on their crime. They are taken away from their parents and dumped in foster care, suffer the shame of the parent’s crime. Why are illegals who were brought here as children any different? And just how did they earn any such right?

If Mr. Johnson cannot uphold the laws of the country, then he needs to resign. We have no obligation to those who are here illegally — even though the Democrats badly want their votes. Our obligation is to those who are legal immigrants who wait their turn and come to this country according to the rules. Those people we welcome with open arms.

It’s lawlessness all the way down.


Throwing Good Money After Proven Bad Policy by The Elephant's Child

It does not matter how often you show that a program does not work, and in the case of Head Start, studies have been showing it to be ineffective for years, but — it’s “for the children.” When a study has just emerged and funding would seem to be questionable, you just tack it on to another urgent bill, in this case, Sandy Relief, and $100 million.

A billion here, a billion there, who can keep track?

On January 4, Congress approved $9.7 billion in initial relief for victims of the storm. A second vote on the rest of the $60.4 billion aid package is planned for Tuesday, and among the numerous items unrelated to clean-up efforts is $100 million in additional funding for Head Start, the LBJ-era program that already spends $8 billion a year trying to prepare low-income toddlers for kindergarten.

Since its creation as part of the War on Poverty in 1965, nearly 30 million children have participated in Head Start at a taxpayer cost of more than $180 billion. The problem is that by the government’s own reckoning the program has never achieved what it promises.

The first major evaluation was in 1969 by the Westinghouse Learning Corporation and Ohio University. It found that pre-schoolers who did make cognitive gains did not maintain them in early grades and that Head Start participants performed no better than children from similar backgrounds who had never been in the program. Federal evaluations in 1985 and 2005 also found that any positive cognitive impact was transitory.

President Obama has said that education policy should  e driven not by ideology but by “what works.” The administration in 2009 sat on a very positive performance review of the Washington D.C. school voucher program which it opposed. The Congressionally mandated study of the Head Start program was finally released more than a year late. Using the political cover of disaster relief to toss more money into a bad program at a time when the country is running trillion-dollar deficits is evidence of Congressional bad faith.

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