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Huh? Federal prison debate team beats Harvard in showdown over illegals enrolling in public schools

Prison debate team

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(NaturalNews) Leave it up to prison inmates to get a legal debate over illegal immigrants correct.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, a debate team from Harvard, one of the top Ivy League schools in the country, was beaten by a team of Bard Prison Initiative students in a debate on whether or not illegal immigrant children ought to be permitted to attend U.S. public schools (which are primarily funded with local property taxes that illegal alien parents don't generally pay).

Following the judges' decision, the audience in attendance burst into applause — an audience that included about 75 other members of the Bard Prison Initiative, "which offers rigorous college experience to men at Eastern New York Correctional Facility, in the Catskills," WSJ reported.

Debaters on both sides were attempting to showcase the academic success of the program, which is offered through Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The program seeks to provide inmates with a second chance to build a better life and avoid prison reentry.

Dropout factories with overcrowded classrooms

What is ironic is that the inmates were there to promote an argument with which they vehemently disagreed. Resolved: "Public schools in the United States should have the ability to deny enrollment to undocumented students." (Even the language is rigged; they're "undocumented" because they are not in the country legally.)

Judge Mary Nugent, who headed up a veteran debate panel, said the Bard team's argument put up a strong case in that schools attended by many illegal alien children were failing so badly that students were essentially being warehoused. Consequently, these students were not benefiting at all from the resources necessary to keep the schools open.

As the WSJ reported:

"The team proposed that if 'dropout factories' with overcrowded classrooms and insufficient funding could deny these children admission, then nonprofits and wealthier schools would step in and teach them better."

Nugent said the Harvard College Debating Union failed to address parts of that argument, though she thought both sides did well.

Harvard team members said the Bard team impressed them, especially the prisoners' preparation and unanticipated line of argument.

"They caught us off-guard," Anais Carrel, a 20-year-old junior from Chicago, told the paper.

The Bard team had its first debate in the spring of 2014, defeating the team from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Then, it won against a nationally ranked University of Vermont team. In April, Bard lost a rematch against the U.S. Military Academy.

As for the Bard team's argument, tens of millions of Americans agree with their position — even if the team members themselves do not.

Another argument in support of Bard's position

For one, a big reason why many public schools are failing is because they are being inundated with children who don't speak English and who have other special needs (like learning how to read) — all of which cost money to provide. And while the federal government (again, taxpayers) covers some costs, local taxpayers and districts cannot, in many cases, keep up with demands.

Worse, local officials who try to convince federal officials there is a problem often get shouted down, insulted and threatened.

"I love the fact that Lynn is a diverse community," Mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts, Judith Flanagan Kennedy told Fox News. "By speaking out about this, I have been called a racist, I have been called a hater. That is not the case. I'm simply looking at this from the point of view of the economic impact it has had on my city."

And for every dollar that must, by federal law or regulation, be spent on children in the country illegally, there is a dollar taken away from providing for American kids whose parents are footing the bill for everyone's education.

The Bard debate team — itself financed by tax dollars, when you look at it honestly — may have disagreed with the premise of the argument, but they were exactly right in that illegal alien children ought not be permitted to attend U.S. public schools.

Eliminating that "benefit" (and many others) would actually encourage immigrants to enter the U.S. legally.

Well, hey, there's another argument...





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