By Barrett Westberg
Superintendent John Huppenthal scrambled to garner attention and create publicity, when he called for a press conference on Wednesday, to talk about the negative impact of illegal immigrants in Arizona schools. He was unable to provide any “negative” details about the new arrivals, or answer questions directly about anything.
Huppenthal, who is facing a tough primary challenger, claimed that around 202 illegal school aged immigrants were “bussed into here by the federal government” and that it is not our responsibility to pay for their education, so we should be compensated by the federal government. He worried about an “imminent” executive order which would grant amnesty to the immigrants. When asked about the direct impact this has had on the state, he claimed vaguely that schools are “struggling to cover the costs of students.”
When asked if the effect of the amnesty would be negligible, he responded, “perhaps.” Huppenthal said he was worried about something that could hypothetically be a problem down the line, which seems reasonable, but when asked what he was doing about it, he continued to argue that amnesty was a problem without answering the question. Eventually he conceded that amnesty was “not what we’re here to talk about.” So what was he there for?
The most he could say about almost any subject was “perhaps” it could be a problem, and the only solution he had was to ask for more money from the federal government.
As long as there’s a border, there will be immigrants crossing it, legally or otherwise. Is throwing money at schools a sustainable solution? After these children go through our educational system, where will they be able to get a job? Who does the amnesty affect? Through what system do they prove a student is here illegally? He addressed none of these questions and only wanted to harp on Obama for his hypothetical executive orders.
The last question Huppenthal didn’t answer was whether he was racist against Latino Americans. He responded, “I’ll go to that directly,” which most people would interpret to mean a “yes” or “no” answer, but he never said yes or no, and only offered that he went to school with people who had Hispanic sounding names. Racist or not, it’s obvious he doesn’t know how to handle the illegal immigrant problem, or why it is or is not a problem at all.