Commissioner called "jowl jiggling idiot" after student status request | News
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)- A Mecklenburg County Commissioner is being called a "racist moron" and a "jowl jiggling idiot" after requesting a school district gather information about the legal status of students.
Commissioner Bill James says he wants to know the exact number of students in K-through-12 who are illegal immigrants. He also wants to know how much money it is costing the Mecklenburg County to educate such students.
The measure was brought up at Tuesday night's Mecklenburg County Commission meeting, but failed five to four in a vote.
After word of the measure came out, a grassroots group of supporters of the Dream Act from North Carolina sent out a scathing retort to James' comments.
"Jowl-jiggling idiot and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James will introduce a plan tonight in hopes of getting the county sued for violating federal law. The plan would unlawfully collect data on the immigration status of students, falling afoul of the Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe," the North Carolina Dream Team stated in a release on Tuesday.
"There are unconfirmed reports that the proposal will be introduced in crayon at 5PM at the Government Center in downtown Charlotte. "
The measure was supported by James, Jim Pendergraph and Karen Bentley. Commissioner Neil Cooksey had to leave the meeting before the vote took place, but expressed his support for the motion.
James says if Mecklenburg County could identify which countries students who are illegal immigrants are coming from, the county could send a bill to those respective countries and ask for payment for educating the students.
James tells WBTV "this debate is about CMS. The illegals in CMS - how much it is costing us Mecklenburg tax payers. I'd like to know what that is. I want to send a bill to Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua or where-ever it turns out people are from."
"James intends to reach new fame for sheer idiocy, racism, and hopefully dragging his county into court," the statement from NC Dream Team stated. "His plan would collect data on the country of origin for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School students with the intention of collecting payment their country of origin, because that would happen. Federal law requires school districts to educate all students irrespective of immigration status."
"It isn't unconstitutional as they are claiming in their press release," James told WBTV via email on Tuesday night after the measure failed. "And the vote was along party lines, so if they are going to be accurate (not a high priority for these guys) they would refer to 'the Republicans'."
James pointed out that three Republicans sponsored the measure and that all four Republican commissioners voted for it.
"A 5-4 vote is pretty clear that a large portion of Mecklenburg County taxpayers wants to know," he said.
That federal law references the Supreme Court case of Plyer V Doe, which prohibits local school districts from refusing illegal immigrants from admission to K-12 public schools.
The ruling doesn't prohibit the school district or the county, according to the James' drafted legislation, from "estimating or obtaining immigration information and quantifying the impact that illegals attending CMS have on the Mecklenburg County taxpayer."
"Bill James' proposal is useless, dumb, and a waste of time, much like Bill James," the NC Dream Team said.
"They don't have a leg to stand on and they know it so they resort to name calling," James said about the NC Dream Team's comments. "Nothing new about that – it is the liberals favorite tactic [...] If I gave a rip about what some illegal supporters thought I would have left politics long ago."
Commissioners who supported the legislation said the study would show the exact impact of the education on local taxpayers.
"If Mecklenburg did not have to educate illegal immigrants, our tax rate would be significantly less," the legislation states.
The Chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education responded to the proposed legislation, calling it "disappointing."
The board laid out three major concerns, including "the proposal asks CMS to do is illegal. We are barred by federal law from inquiring about the citizenship or residency status of our students."
Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.