Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) set up a program in Virginia public schools to advance his own immigration agenda… at the taxpayer’s expense. As part of the “Speak Up for Immigration” lesson plan for high school students in the Commonwealth of Virginia, teachers will ask students to write letters to elected officials in support of immigration reform, after using various resources advancing Senator Warner’s vision.
If the Senator is truly interested in hearing differing opinions, shouldn’t he be encouraging students to speak “on” or “about” immigration? No, his program is “for immigration” – for more of it. He should have just entitled the program “Speak Up for S. 744” because the program is slanted to persuade the students to support the Senate mass amnesty bill that Senator Mark Warner voted for in 2013.
The lesson plan instructs the teacher to “Guide students to the understanding (sic) the importance of looking at personal stories when analyzing laws and policies.” The oft-repeated adage, “Hard cases make bad law,” is entirely forgotten here. Senator Warner wants to look at this issue from the perspective of the illegal alien, not the U.S. citizen he currently represents. Although U.S. case law uses the term “illegal alien,” the lesson plan adopts the biased Associated Press agenda by using the term “undocumented immigrant.”
The sole resource in the lesson plan that addresses an alternate perspective is a local news channel’s 2-minute video segment about amnesty opponents. On the other side of the debate, there are photos of refugees, a video address by Senator Warner, several news stories with interviews of illegal aliens, and sample persuasive letters from Amnesty International’s website.
Moreover, although law enforcement is an integral concept in the immigration debate, students in this program do not hear the perspective of Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Border Patrol officers. There is absolutely no mention of national security concerns. How can students really learn what is at stake in the immigration debate if they only hear half the story?
In a press release, Senator Warner announces that he will speak at Charlottesville High School, where 10% of the students are foreign-born, because it “currently has students affected by the outcomes of immigration reform.” Apparently, Senator Warner believes that the 10% foreign-born population at this school is the only group impacted by immigration reform. To the contrary, immigration reform impacts more than just immigrants and illegal aliens. The forgotten 90%—the American-born students—are left to learn this lesson the hard way, as they will face competition for scarce jobs as the result of Senator Warner’s immigration policies. Immigration reform does not affect 10%; it affects 100%.
Although Senator Warner’s lesson plan is incredibly lop-sided, teachers do assign an important task: sending letters to elected officials. Senator Warner should be contacted about immigration reform. There’s a lot he needs to learn.