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Archive for Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Committee favors repeal of immigrant tuition law

March 1, 2006

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— A law allowing some undocumented immigrants to pay resident tuition would be repealed under a bill recommended today by a House committee.

The 12-8 vote for a bill to repeal the 2004 law represented a dramatic turnaround from last week when the committee defeated the measure on an 11-11 tie vote.

But House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, an opponent of the tuition break, asked the House Federal and State Affairs Committee to have another vote.

This time, the repeal was endorsed and sent to the full House for consideration.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius supported the law when it was passed two years ago. She declined to say whether she would veto a measure to repeal it.

But she said during the recent National Governor's Assn. meeting with President Bush, Bush indicated support for helping the children of immigrants attend higher education.

"He said and I agree with him that punishing children by making education more difficult for talented children of immigrants is probably a lose-lose situation," Sebelius said.

Current law lets some undocumented immigrants qualify for in-state tuition if they attended a Kansas high school at least three years and graduated or earned a General Educational Development certificate in Kansas.

Last fall, 221 students enrolled under the law, most of them at community colleges, according to the Kansas Board of Regents.

A full-time undergraduate from Kansas pays $2,412 per semester at Kansas University, compared with $6,638 for out-of-state residents.

Comments

Todd 8 years, 6 months ago

There are more taxes than income taxes you know. People one way or another pay sales, property, energy, and other taxes. Kicking people when they are down is not what this country is about. People are more than just income streams for the gov't you know.

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Edie1 8 years, 6 months ago

Even with sales taxes, they still are not paying their fair share of taxes to minutely cover their expenses. Listen I am not against poor people. I grew up poor myself. And I will admit as most people here would that if I was in their shoes I would come into American illegally too. Does it make it right, no. Just understandable. There are over a billion people in the world who are poorer thatn the people from the predominantly latin countries that these people come from. What makes their plight less significant than these illegal immigrants. Why should they gain legal residency and American priviledges because they had the convenience to simply walk across our borders. We have millions of people from countries poorer than the illegal immigrants here who are waiting patiently to immigrate legally. These are the people we need to sympathize with. For they have shown integrity and respect for our country by: 1. Going through the legal channels to immigrate to America. 2. Even though faced with severe poverty, they give us the respect of either saying yes or no to them immigrating to our country. And that sir is our right as a sovereign country. That shows real grit and integrity on their part.

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Edie1 8 years, 6 months ago

"It costs about $8000 a year to educate the children of illegal immigrants and who knows how much in medical costs. If these illegal immigrants are paying more than $8000 a year in taxes of any kind, well they are working at "JOBS AMERICANS DO WANT". If an illegal immigrant is working at a job where he/she is paying $8000 a year in taxes it is a job an American would take. But the fact remains that most of them do not pay close to this amount. I can tell you this because my aunt works for the IRS and with hundred of thousands of tax returns that come in with ITN numbers and claiming 10 dependent, you know as well as me that most of these are probably illegal immigrants. And their tax contributions do not amount to $8000 a year. So even the cost of educating their children is not covered by the taxes they pay, let alone their medical care. And as I said before a lot of these kids can receive an education in their own countries for free (Mexico for example). Why should they get a break subsidized with American tax payer's money, when they have an absolutely free college education waiting for them in their own country? Do American children get the option of going to college free simply because they are American citizens? It is also cost prohibitive to a lot of poor American families when it comes to sending their kids to college, even with the help that is offered. We keep complaining about not producing enough scientists and engineers. Well face it, it is certainly not helping having to pay for the education of millions of other countries children. That money can be used to better educate America's children. Or have they become second rate to the children of illegal immigrants? Are American children now

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Ceallach 8 years, 6 months ago

"He said and I agree with him that punishing children by making education more difficult for talented children of immigrants is probably a lose-lose situation," Sebelius said.

"if they attended a Kansas high school at least three years and graduated or earned a General Educational Development certificate in Kansas."


So getting a GED is the requirement for being considered a talented child of an illegal immigrant? I don't think so!!

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kelybean 8 years, 6 months ago

Recieving an education is always a win-win situation. Anyone who is commited to getting their GED and then pursuing higher education is talented, and in no way should be punished for, or hindered in the pursuit of their dream. People shouldn't forget that this law mandates that the student must obtain citizenship by the time that they graduate, meaning that they are the future of America. This committee's decision to challenge this dream is selfish and wrong.

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Jamesaust 8 years, 6 months ago

Quoting W won't help Sebelius. I believe W is on the record for supporting same-sex unions as long as they aren't "marriages" but I haven't seen that sway anyone.

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Mama 8 years, 6 months ago

Undocumented = illegal immigrants. WHY should illegal immigrants qualify for something legal citizens don't get. A legal resident of Illinois/Texas/Missouri doesn't get in-state tuition at K.U., but an illegal resident does? Bulldookie. I agree that an education should be available to all those seeking one but, come on! Per kelybean, "People shouldn't forget that this law mandates that the student must obtain citizenship by the time that they graduate" Let's say they get to the end of their four years of study and don't obtain their citizenship. Then what? How does one go about repossessing an education? Lobotomies? And while I've got my panties in a bundle, why should illegal immigrants be allowed a legal Kansas driver's license? The key word in all of this is illegal. End of story. (Wow, what a grouch I am at 10pm!)

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Bubarubu 8 years, 6 months ago

Man, I hate it when people break the law. I mean, the law is there for a reason, so when people break it, it has to be bad, right? Look, I just don't care that illegal immigrants provide for their families or help lower the cost of building/landscaping/agriculture for mine. They're illegal. Nothing else should matter, right? Everything was fine when they were over there, but now that they're here, I just hate them. The fact that they came here for economic opportunity, the fact that they help me out, the fact that they are important to our economy, none of that matters because they broke a law. Who cares if the law makes sense, they broke it. The important thing we always have to remember about them, the only thing that matters, the thing that matter so much that it becomes their label is "illegal". Everyone who breaks the law is a bad person and we should punish them. Everyone who breaks the law should be kept out of schools, out of work, out of cars, our of homes. Man, if that happened, everything would be just fine. Yep, just fine.

In case anyone wasn't sure or hadn't read the other stuff I've posted on this issue, read the preceding with a mocking sneer in your voice please.

On a slightly more earnest note, the thing that is bugging me most about the "conservatives" posting here is the conflation of federal immigration law and state university governance. The reason this debate is possible is because the federal government decided to let states make the decision with regard to illegal immigrants and tuition. Immigration violations are a federal issue, and only a federal issue. The state of Kansas is under no obligation to enforce federal immigration law.

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pnachman 8 years, 6 months ago

Bubarubu --- what a witty guy (or gal) he (she?) must be!

Currently, Kansas is in violation of Federal law on this subject. If Kansas insists upon letting illegal aliens attend its public universities at in-state tuition rates, then Kansas must let U.S. citizens and legal immigrants from other states also attend at those rates. See the U.S. Code, Title 8, Section 1623a: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001623----000-.html

Further, it's true that Kansas isn't obligated to enforce federal immigration law, but it's stupid not to, just as it would be stupid to not help the feds enforce laws against bank robbery, kidnapping, etc.

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Bubarubu 8 years, 6 months ago

All due respect pnach, but given that Kansas' law was passed three months after the code you posted went into effect and has withstood at least one legal challenge, I think there is no evidence of violation of the US Code. Moreover, Kansas' law (just like the other 8 states who have the same policy) offers in-state tuition to anyone who meets the same requirements: three years attendance in KS schools, graduating from a KS high school, and an affidavit that they are seeking legal status. In other words, in-state tuition is not offered specifically to illegal immigrants but to anyone who meets those criteria, regardless of immigration status. As much as I hate blanket appeals to authority, when it comes to the interpretation of federal laws, I think federal judges are kind of the end-all-be-all, so we'll go with their reading over yours, if you don't mind.

Is it stupid not to enforce immigration law? Well, let's compare it with, say, bank robberies (since kidnapping is not automatically a federal crime...). Is there a demonstrable harm to bank robberies? Of course there is. Do the people who rob a bank do so willfully and with the knowledge that their acts are illegal? It would be pretty hard to rob a bank under other cirucmstances. What about illegal immigration? Is there a demonstrable harm? No, not really. Sure, illegal immigrants draw on some social welfare benefits but they also provide necessary, cheap labor which keeps the costs of goods and service down, so the impact is, at most, in dispute. Incidentally, the lawsuit was tossed last year precisely because the plaintiffs could demonstrate no concrete impact and thus had no standing. Do illegal immigrants, specifically the ones affected by this law, act willfully and with knowledge of the illegality of their acts? Not really, no. Children brought to the US by their parents do not have the ability to resist, nor do they have the responsibility for those acts. You would punish them by saying that they cannot attend college because one time, at least three years earlier, their parents crossed a line looking for a better way to feed their family. You think it would be stupid to not enforce immigration law, I think it would be stupid to base public policy on punishing someone for the forgiveable sins of their father.

Comparing illegal immigration to bank robberies is among the more foolish things I've seen on this board, and, friends, that is saying something.

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pnachman 8 years, 6 months ago

Anyone who actually reads the U.S. code at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001623----000-.html will be able to see that it's very clear Kansas is in violation of federal law, notwithstanding Bubarubu's smokescreen.

If Kris Kobach's lawsuit foundered on standing (this is being appealed at the federal circuit court level), that doesn't make what Kansas is doing legal. A similar lawsuit is beginning the process at the federal district court level in California. Its plaintiffs are students from other states across the country who have been paying full freight at California public universities, while illegal aliens haven't, in violation of that federal law. That's demonstrable harm for the out-of-state students.

On to other points.

In general, children suffer when their parents are criminals. So if illegal aliens bring their children along, why be surprised if those children bear some of the consequences? It's not the children's fault? Agreed. But it's not our fault, either. No reason for American taxpayers to be left holding the bag.

Who suffers here? If an illegal alien takes a seat in one of Kansas's selective universities at the tuition rate for residents (i.e. distinguished from its presumably non-selective community colleges), that seat is lost to an eligible Kansan.

As for the putative economic benefits bestowed on us by illegal aliens, there's really no dispute that they've destroyed many occupations for American workers. From meatpacking plants in Iowa and Nebraska to drywallers in Las Vegas to janitors in LA, jobs that used to enable their holders to support a family at middle-class levels now pay barely-above-minimum wage because their workforces were intentionally flooded with desperate illegal aliens. The companies doing this make out like bandits, while the rest of us pick up the costs for the illegal aliens' use of our hospitals, schools, etc. since they pay zero or negligible taxes. So illegal aliens may lower some visible costs of goods and services, but overall they're subsidized-by-taxpayers labor, not cheap labor.

Readers interested in considering the many nation-busting impacts of mass immigration (not just illegal immigration) should read the set of very brief essays at http://www.commonsenseonmassimmigration.us/

Essay #8, alone,

http://www.commonsenseonmassimmigration.us/articles/art_vinson.html

may be enough to convince you that the Bubarubus of the world are, at best, penny -wise and pound-foolish.

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Bubarubu 8 years, 6 months ago

"Its plaintiffs are students from other states across the country who have been paying full freight at California public universities, while illegal aliens haven't, in violation of that federal law. That's demonstrable harm for the out-of-state students."

Which is identical to the case that was dismissed in Kansas precisely because there was no demonstrable harm. Kansas' law stands now, just like California's will, and the other seven states that have passed this policy since 2001. Not one has been overturned by the courts. My smokescreen? Hardly. Relatively settled case law at this point.

"No reason for American taxpayers to be left holding the bag."

Demonstrate this one time. Just once. Please. Demonstrate the financial harm to letting the children of illegal immigrants have in-state tuition. Demonstrate the net financial harm of illegal immigration. I've been trying for ten years now and I can't find it.

"If an illegal alien takes a seat in one of Kansas's selective universities at the tuition rate for residents (i.e. distinguished from its presumably non-selective community colleges), that seat is lost to an eligible Kansan."

Please do some reading before jumping into this debate pnach. "Last fall, 221 students enrolled under the law, most of them at community colleges, according to the Kansas Board of Regents.", and 94 of them were at a single community college. Again, I ask you to demonstrate any harm at all. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/feb...

As for the websites you link to, they belong to one of thirteen organizations founded or cofounded by a single man. He's a retired eye doc, so I might go to him to get new glasses, but he has no more expertise in public policy than you do. His advocacy includes English-only policies and three of his organizations (including the Social Contract Press that you linked to) have been labeled hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Based on a memo he wrote in 1988 in which he questioned the "educability" of Hispanics, a number of organizations and conservative political activists cut ties with him. Even a quick reading of his writings reveals him as nothing more than an educated racist masquerading as a political operative. Personally, I'd take pound-foolish over virulent racist any day. Come back when you have something better to argue.

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Bubarubu 8 years, 6 months ago

I hate to post twice in a row like this, but I should point out that finding the source of the material you posted took all of three mouse clicks and fourteen keystrokes (I used quotation marks to search for his name). If you aren't willing to invest the 30 seconds it would take to vet a source before you post it in a public forum, then go back to school and beg for more instruction in critical evaluation of messages.

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