July 15, 1996
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By Mari Maldonado

Immigration reform

definitely needed

Politics is just not my forte, but I will attempt to briefly speak on a very heated issue currently plaguing U.S. Congressmen.

I'm always quick to judge illegals, although a good number of my
relatives were living here not as American citizens once.

U.S. senatorial candidate Victor Morales said that immigration problems should not be directed towards illegal immigrants, but rather taken on in a larger perspective, "let's work toward the problem instead of blaming the immigrants," he said.

These statements really stayed with me, because I feel that maybe at
one time someone was probably blaming my grandparents, even though my
grandmother, born in Arizona, was an American citizen when she came here from Mexico. My grandfather was not, nor were their first three
children, including my mother.

A Current Affair, I believe, did a piece on thousands of
dollars of U.S. goverment farm aid allotted to a great number of Mexican citizens working or farming lettuce crops in a small southern Arizona town. The small town's population is numbered only at a few hundred, but it houses more than 10,000 post office boxes for the Mexican citizens who rent them in order to receive their checks from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The excerpt showed people flocking across the border to pick up their
checks and cashing them then heading back south to do their shopping.

One of the interviewees basically told the reporter, well if they're
going to make it available to us, why shouldn't we take advantage of the situation.

So whose fault is it? Their's for taking the U.S. up on their offer, or the U.S. for making it easy for them to rape the system?

Hispanic comedian Paul Rodriguez said during a special appearance in
Odessa that if the U.S. decides to fence up southern borders, then it
should do so for northern, eastern and western borders as well. The
crowd reacted with applause.

Upon reviewing state newspaper editorials for our opinion page I came
upon the one I printed in Friday's <fn11>Enterprise <Fn9>on immigration reform including denying education to the children of illiegal aliens, noting that it does not restrict those born here in the U.S., who are American citizens.

I agree with the columnist that this can have disastrous, long-term
effects. The breeding of illiterate and uneducated children in America
can only prove more burdensome to taxpayers.

I was watching a television news magazine a few weeks back on the topic where the reporter was interviewing an illigal immigrant student who told her, "we pay taxes," everytime they buy their school clothes or
grocery items. Maybe they do, but definitely not enough to cover their
education expenses.

All-in-all I think everybody pretty much agrees that immigration reform is very much needed, but I commend those, like Sens. Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison, for speaking up against the legislative bill denying education to illigal immigrant children and realizing the dire
consequences, although there are many for it.

I strongly feel that the southern border needs more attention,
especially where drugs are concerned. We know, or we can at least
speculate, on where most of the local supply is coming from.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter whose column
appears each Monday.


Closed sessions

must be posted

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Reeves County Commissioners held what we believe under the law to be an illegal executive (closed door) session Monday afternoon.
The meeting was held to confer with an attorney on the matter of a
salary for the County Court-At-Law judge. A jury trial earlier this year determined that the court had not set a reasonable salary for the judge but the jury did not set a salary. That's up to the commissioners.
Certainly, this topic is a legitimate one for a closed door session.
That is not debatable. However what is also not debatable, in our
opinion based on the law as we understand it, is that the closed door
session was not posted on the agenda as the law requires it to be.
The subject to be discussed was posted on the agenda as part of the open session but not for closed session. The purpose of posting in advance subjects to be discussed is so that public will know what their elected officials are doing and how they go about doing it.
There was no action taken by commissioners after the closed session
Monday and if there had been, that action would have been voided by law, if the session as we contend was illegal.
We are not after anybody in objecting to this meeting by calling it
illegal. We've been told we can go to the grand jury with the
information but we do not seek indictments nor do we seek to have anyone
removed from office. We merely want things done according to the book -
the law.
We make these allegations simply to make sure things are done right in
the future as we have done with other governmental agencies in the past.
We seek to work with governmental agencies on behalf of the public for
the good of our community.


Education available

through programs

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How to interpret the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal this week to hear an
appeal on affirmative action in college admissions? The wrangling is
under way.

Attorney General Dan Morales says the court's decision - which let
stand a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down race-based
admissions at the University of Texas School of Law - must be applied to
all public universities, student financial aid programs and private
colleges taking federal funds.

Others argue this interpretation is too broad.

Al Kauffman, a lawyer for the Mexican American Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, has denounced the broad interpretation.

Higher Education Commissioner Kenneth Ashworth first spoke for the
narrow interpretation, then said schools must listen to Morales.

Meanwhile, Texas still faces the challenge of providing opportunity for

The state's goal should be to ensure that all children who aspire to go
to college can do so. Several innovative programs head that direction.

- The San Antonio Education Partnership, a nonprofit organization, has
provided four-year college scholarships to local colleges for students
in targeted high schools since 1988. ...

- An Endowment Scholarship Program of Texas Southmost College and the
University of Texas at Brownsville is available for seventh through 12th
grade students in the Brownsville area who take college-bound courses.

- The Texas Tomorrow Fund allows even those of meager means to have a
savings plan that allows parents to lock in the costs of their
children's future college tuition and fees at today's prices. ...

Such programs may not directly address who will get in law school at
UT-Austin, but they will make college a realistic dream for many young

- San Antonio Express-News

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