Helping the Able, Overlooking the Needy, in Virginia

By Dan Cadman on January 27, 2014

Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin (D) has introduced a bill into the Virginia Senate that would fund, at the expense of Virginia taxpayers, "an Office of Immigrant Assistance to help Virginia's newcomers navigate the complex process of becoming naturalized citizens," according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

The paper cites Sen. Ebbin as saying "It's an important population to keep here, with a larger percentage of immigrants having college degrees and owning businesses than natural-born citizens."

This seems wrong-headed to me for so many reasons.

First, it appears that Sen. Ebbin is just abandoning all those native-born slugs who aren't college graduates or entrepreneurs in favor of all those foreign best-and-brightest who have strangely congregated in Virginia. I guess all these home-grown have-nots aren't worth the trouble of helping out in some concrete fashion. This sounds, at least to me, kinda like the Democratic equivalent of Mitt Romney's remark about the 47 percent — you know, the one that almost by itself sunk his presidential campaign — doesn't it? I wonder if the good people of Virginia will react to this remark as the nation did to Mr. Romney. Or are they afraid to, out of political correctness?

Second, I'm trying to figure out why aliens (presumably — hopefully — only lawful resident aliens) who are college graduates and business owners need a helping hand with the naturalization process. Aliens have been doing that without much taxpayer assistance since the nation's founding. Do smart, business-savvy aliens really need a state government bailout in times of economic austerity to help them get their citizenship papers?

Third, there's the question of how many will in fact want to naturalize — rightly or wrongly, a surprising number of resident aliens are perfectly content with their green cards and don't wish to take that final step in formally abandoning their prior nationality, thank you very much.

Which brings me to my last concern: Is this effort truly about encouraging aliens to take the last step toward citizenship, or is Sen. Ebbin playing word games in order to set up, at Virginia taxpayer expense, a set of offices designed to help illegal aliens navigate the shoals of amnesty if-and-when it passes?

According to the article, the fiscal impact of the bill is estimated to be roughly $390,928 the first year and $230,602 each year after that. I think that's an egregious underestimation. These kinds of programs have a way of propagating like bacteria in a petri dish.

Caveat emptor, Virginia taxpayers, caveat emptor.


Topics: Virginia