I am not a fan of Jan Brewer by any stretch of the imagination. I find her to heartless and ruthless in her budget cuts to programs which benefit the poor, people of color, women, and children. I have practically been counting down the days to vote out the woman who gave herself a pat on the back for increasing the education budget that she had previously slashed.
On Thursday Brewer, touting her single minded obsession with those damn brown people, announced that Arizona would deny benefits to young adults seeking to defer deportation by paying a fee (nearing $500) and getting a work visa.
Can you imagine my surprise when I found myself agreeing with certain parts of the order?
After pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t experiencing some horrible nightmare, I examined things a little more closely. It’s clearly asinine to deny a driver’s license to a young adult with a work visa. One cant’ really work if one does not pay taxes. Public benefits should not be denied to these visa holders as well, as under tax law if a person has been in the country for more than 183 days the are required to pay taxes (not to mention what taxes come out of being employed legally and just through general consumerism). Therefore, work visa holders do contribute to tax revenue.
But the point I did agree with Brewer on was that these young adults should not be eligible for financial aid. Since immigration is controlled by the federal government, I feel those on a deferred status or with work visas should be allowed to apply for federal financial aid.
However, the state government should not have to provide any sort of educational funding. To a point, that is. Once a young adult with a visa has lived legally in the state for two years, they should be allowed to seek state level financial aid.
I only agree with Brewer on a fraction of her order (though if you check out her twitter everyone in the world agrees with her) but for the most part it trivializes and fails to address the complicated issue of immigration (legal or illegal) and ways to effectively reform the system. As customary, Jan Brewer is throwing a temper tantrum and responding in typical draconian fashion.
What are your thoughts on Governor Brewer’s decision?