Teens interview Kulongoski
My name is Greg Kendoll and I’m a senior from McKay High School. Do you think that in light of the recent budget crisis that there is money to be saved in the state budget by reducing social services to illegal immigrants?
Kulongoski: Well, you know, the answer to that is an easy yes. Obviously if you didn’t provide service to them you would reduce the budget. The question is, is it good public policy? And I would tell you no. And so though there could be some money saved in doing that, obviously because there are non-citizens who access the social service agencies, I don’t think that would be good public policy for us and so I would just as soon keep them having access to those programs.
I’m Tyler Reynolds from Stayton High School. A moment ago you said that it was good government policy to give government programs to illegal immigrants. I fail to see how that would be good public policy when it’s illegal to hire illegal immigrants for a job so the state’s not getting revenues back. All they are is giving revenues.
Kulongoski: Let me draw some lines. In fact, there are a lot of people who come to this country and they come here under a variety of circumstances. The way I look at it, is that if in fact the people are in need, if they are hungry, their child needs medical care, they need medical care. I really don’t think it’s a line that we draw as a society here in Oregon or in this country where we say, look, you’re not going to get anything. That isn’t the way we live. That isn’t us as a people so I don’t see it in conflict with who we are as a people to be able to say look, if you’re here, you access it, so be it.