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Reason Alert: Universal Preschool, Immigration Maze

August 22, 2008

Can You Navigate the Immigration Maze to U.S. Citizenship?
The immigration debate is often reduced to - why don't immigrants just get in line and come into this country legally? If only it were that simple. A new Reason Foundation chart details how complicated the immigration maze is, demonstrating the countless requirements that must be met, and the red tape that must be navigated. Click here (.pdf) to see if you can find a path to citizenship. The chart will appear in the upcoming October issue of Reason magazine.

"Our country's immigration system is broken," says Shikha Dalmia, a senior policy analyst at Reason Foundation and one of the chart's authors. "Workers with family already here or college degrees face a convoluted, cruel and uncertain process. And they are the lucky ones. For poor laborers, who pick our crops and build our homes, there is virtually no legal process and no 'line' to wait in if they hope to permanently work and live in this country."

"The American Civil Liberties Union commends Reason magazine for graphically capturing how burdensome the federal government has made the citizenship process for people hoping to become Americans," says Timothy Sparapani, ACLU senior legislative counsel. "As Reason makes clear, we have got to go in a different direction and dramatically overhaul our immigration 'system.' It is illogical, burdensome and long past time those in Washington chose to address these issues in ways that will continue to allow our nation to grow and prosper."
» Charting the Immigration Maze (.pdf)
» Archive of Reason.tv's Drew Carey Video on Immigration Reform

Obama, Democrats Should Reconsider Universal Preschool Plans
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today, Reason Foundation's Lisa Snell and Shikha Dalmia write, "Barack Obama says he believes in universal preschool and if he's elected president he'll pump 'billions of dollars into early childhood education.' Universal preschool is now second only to universal health care on the liberal policy wish list. Democratic governors across the country -- including in Illinois, Arizona, Massachusetts and Virginia -- have made a major push to fund universal preschool in their states. But is strapping a backpack on all 4-year-olds and sending them to preschool good for them? Not according to available evidence. 'Advocates and supporters of universal preschool often use existing research for purely political purposes,' says James Heckman, a University of Chicago Noble laureate in economics whose work Mr. Obama and preschool activists routinely cite. 'But the solid evidence for the effectiveness of early interventions is limited to those conducted on disadvantaged populations.'...If anything, preschool may do lasting damage to many children. A 2005 analysis by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, found that kindergartners with 15 or more hours of preschool every week were less motivated and more aggressive in class. Likewise, Canada's C.D. Howe Institute found a higher incidence of anxiety, hyperactivity and poor social skills among kids in Quebec after universal preschool. The only preschool programs that seem to do more good than harm are very intense interventions targeted toward severely disadvantaged kids."
» Related: Lisa Snell: The Very Short-Lived Benefits of Preschool

Exaggerating Threats Is a Feature of McCain's Foreign Policy
Reason magazine Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch, author of the book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick, writes, "On Thursday of last week, Republican presidential nominee John McCain said that Russia's invasion of Georgia was 'the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.' This is most certainly not true, at least according to the last two decades' worth of foreign policy assessments from one John McCain.

"In December 1990, two months after Germany reunified and four months after Saddam Hussein did unto Kuwait far worse than what Vladimir Putin has so far done unto Georgia, the Arizona senator asserted that 'the peace and security of the world for future generations [demand] that the world community act decisively to end the Gulf Crisis now.' Pretty serious stuff.

"In January 1994, he described North Korea's nuclear weapons program as 'the most dangerous and immediate expression' of 'the greatest challenge to U.S. security and world stability today,' and warned that 'there can be no serious doubt that our vital national interests are imperiled.' Serious!

"In an April 1999 speech that everyone considering voting for McCain should go read now, the rogue-state rollbacker said that 'America's most important values-life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-are under vicious assault by the Milosevic regime,' requiring 'an immediate and manifold increase in the violence against Serbia proper and Serbian forces in Kosovo,' including mobilization of 'infantry and armored divisions for a possible ground war.' Très sérieux!

"And of course, during the current campaign, he has repeatedly reminded voters that he's running for president to confront 'the transcendent issue of our time: the battle and struggle against radical Islamic extremism.' Which, he argued at a Republican debate in June 2007, 'is a force of evil that is within our shores.... My friends, this is a transcendent struggle between good and evil. Everything we stand for and believe in is at stake here.' If that isn't a 'probably serious crisis internationally,' then the phrase truly has no meaning. OK, so McCain misspoke with that whole Cold War bit. But did he really?"
» Related: From Reason.com's Blog: McCain's White Lies



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