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Health, College: Americans Subsidizing Their Own Dispossession
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January 31, 2003, 04:00 AM
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In the illegal alien`s wonderful world, the expensive things in life are free. You pay for them.

Last week, in my VDARE.COM Exclusive, "Illegal Aliens: The Health Cost Dimension," I wrote about the lunacy of our health care system. Illegally in the U.S.? Go to the head of the line. The sky`s the limit!

Veteran of a foreign war? Sorry - have you thought about Kaiser?

After reading my column, an uninsured widow paying her way through graduate school wrote that she shelled out $2,000 for an emergency room visit. The hospital wanted to admit her for further care but, knowing she couldn`t afford the tab, she refused.

Another reader mailed me that his insurance company was billed $60,000 for an appendectomy and, on a separate visit, $12,000 for outpatient treatment.

A hospital administrator, when confronted with the exorbitant invoice, said, "We have to charge you guys with good insurance because these patients [nodding to a room full of pregnant Mexican girls] don`t pay anything."

This week it`s free cash for college! VDARE.COM readers who live in Southern California may still have time to join Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and Los Angeles Unified School District officials during the February 1 and 2 "Free Cash for College Day" at 50 Los Angeles high schools.

The event is the second part of Hahn`s on-going project, "Invest in People." In November 2002, a task force of 70 business and government leaders hosted a three day seminar "College and Career Convention" to raise the awareness of high-school students about the financial benefits of a college education.

The cash that Hahn is so generous with is not—to the best of my knowledge—folding green. But it is honest-to-God money that you and I pay into federal college scholarship programs and Cal Grants.

This weekend all over Los Angeles volunteers will be helping high-school seniors and their families fill out applications for financial aid. That prospective college students need assistance in filling out forms in English or in Spanish speaks volumes. But I`ll save that editorial for another time.

Our concerns today are two-fold: who qualifies for grants and scholarships today? And who might qualify for them tomorrow?

Only U.S. citizens are eligible for federal assistance and Cal Grants. Of course, those citizens include "anchor babies" whose possibly illegal parents are born mainly in Mexico and Central America.

The Los Angeles Times wrote in its January 25th editorial "College Aid Opens Doors,":

"With a population fueled by immigration from poor regions of Mexico and Central America where schools are scarce and money scarcer, it [Los Angeles] is the least educated and poorest of any major U.S. urban area."

But California Assembly Bill 540, which passed last year and allows illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition fees at California universities, has opened the door for lobbyists who want Cal Grants available for all high-school students—including illegal aliens.

In a December 21st Los Angeles Times commentary column titled "Undocumented Student Aid—Cal Grant Money Could Put College Within Their Reach," [pay archive] Occidental University President Theodore R. Mitchell [email him] made his case:

"This is a cost-effective investment in our future. But the sad fact is that we deny this vital financial aid to thousands of well-qualified students who, brought here illegally by their parents as youngsters, remain undocumented. The vast majority of undocumented students see themselves as Californians."

In his 500-word essay, Mitchell made three glaring errors.

ERROR NUMBER ONE: Cal Grant scholarships for illegal aliens would not necessarily be "cost-effective." Last year, California funded $10 billion for English language programs for non-English speaking K-12 students. The practice of spending billions annually on English language development over the last three decades has buried the state in debt and eroded the quality of the school system beyond recognition.

ERROR NUMBER TWO:  the students are most certainly not, on the whole, "well-qualified." The minimum scholastic requirement for a Cal Grant is a "C" average. Words cannot express how little a "C" level California high-school student knows.

ERROR NUMBER THREE: "undocumented students" most definitely do not "see themselves as Californians." They consider themselves Mexicans, Guatemalans or Pakistanis who are in the U.S. because their parents "want a better life." But that life rarely embraces American ways.

Regardless of how feeble Mitchell`s arguments are, you can expect to hear them over and over from other university administrators. More scholarship money means higher enrollments!

And expect organizations like Hispanic Scholarship Fund to exercise their influence on the California legislature also.

As I wrote earlier, I receive a considerable volume of e-mail. Last week, a critic hit me with the velvet hammer when he called my opinions "unattractive."

And I suppose readers could be forgiven for asking, "What kind of a guy wants to keep young people mired in poverty when they dream of being pilots, brain surgeons and ballerinas?

The answer: a guy who thirsts for common sense.

Nothing is ever enough. Illegal aliens and their advocates are always pushing…always demanding… always nagging… always editorializing… always whining… always hectoring… always cajoling….

American public officials always give in. And American taxpayers end up subsidizing their own dispossession.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.