Archive for Thursday, March 2, 2006

Immigrant tuition law under attack

March 2, 2006


— A law allowing some undocumented immigrants the opportunity to attend higher education institutions at the less expensive resident tuition rate would be repealed under a bill recommended Wednesday by a House committee.

The 12-8 vote by the Federal and State Affairs Committee represented a dramatic turnaround from action last week when the committee defeated the measure on a tie vote.

It also prompted fiery rhetoric about immigration issues in general.

Rep. Nile Dillmore, D-Wichita, argued against repealing the 2004 law, saying that the children of immigrants came here through no fault of their own and were simply trying to better their lives. Their parents, he said, were illegally recruited to Kansas by powerful economic interests, such as construction and meatpacking businesses.

"We are simply going around beating the innocent and ignoring the guilty," Dillmore said.

Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, said the proposed repeal was a "despicable" slap at immigrants, many of whom are soldiers fighting for the United States even though they are not citizens.

But Rep. Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, said he resented granting the lower tuition to illegal immigrants because as a native of Canada he had to go through the naturalization process to become a U.S. citizen.

After the tie vote last week, House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, an opponent of the tuition break, asked the 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 that Bush had indicated support for helping the children of immigrants attend institutions of 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 state law lets some undocumented immigrants qualify for in-state tuition if they attended a Kansas high school for 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.


RiverCityConservative 12 years, 3 months ago

I do not believe, as some do, that there is something evil in the hearts of the Kansans who want to take away the resident status of immigrants for college and university tuition purposes. I believe it is counter-productive to suggest that their opinions are based on racist tendencies.

If any good is to come from the renewal of this debate, it is going to depend on the tireless efforts of teachers speaking out--not only to our representatives but especially to our neighbors. And those conversations ought to be conducted with the utmost respect for our fellow Kansans who need solid reasons to change their minds.

I can think of three compelling reasons. First, the Kansas law does not conflict with federal law, as demonstrated by the fact that in October, 2005, the federal district court dismissed a lawsuit that had challenged the Kansas law, K.S.A. 76-731a. Second, the Kansas law only provides resident status for in-state tuition purposes to those immigrant Kansans who have attended and graduated from a Kansas high school, and who are in the process of obtaining documents for U.S. residency. It is wrong to say that the Kansas law benefits illegal immigrants. Just because someone is undocumented does not mean they are "illegal." Immigration and visas have become extremely complicated in the aftermath of 9-11. Delays of several years or more are now the norm. The third reason for supporting current Kansas law and defeating the repeal efforts is that immigrant Kansas parents and families contribute to the tax base just like all Kansas families do. Recognizing the resident status of their children for in-state tuition is only fair.

But there is another reason why I believe it is in the interests of all Kansans to defend the current Kansas law as it stands on this issue. Kansas teachers need this law in order to be able to provide the best instruction to all students. "To the stars through difficulties," says our state motto, inscribed on the Kansas flag. We recognize that motivation and aspirations are central to the process of learning and growing to be fulfilled as individuals and responsible as members of the community. You really are not a Kansan until you embrace this basic truth which transcends all our differences of race, religion, and ethnicity.

I hope that the public debate which our legislators, in their infinite wisdom, have reopened on the issue of immigrant tuition will bring about an even stronger endorsement of the current law as it stands. I believe that there is something eminently Kansan about the immigrant experience in America. The children of today's immigrant Kansans are going to make a very positive difference in the glorious future of the Great State of Kansas.

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

Well, I didn't tell the USA Today to print one study or another about ANY race or group of people; nor can I fix the fact that the US is bordered on Mexico and perhaps is the largest group of illegal immigration. It's what was in the paper on 2 March 2006. Also printed on the same day was this little number on SSN and immigration:

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

"Their parents, he said, were illegally recruited to Kansas by powerful economic interests, such as construction and meatpacking businesses."

So because the US has a better economy we are illegally recruiting? What a bunch of crap. Go home, get documents, then come back. Until then, stop wasting my tax money.

Christine Anderson 12 years, 3 months ago

I love this!!

I've got a very personal problem with illegals, NOT immigrants in general. My great-grandparents were immigrants. Anyway, if it's possible to stop paying tuition for those who came and/or stayed here by illegal means, let's roll!

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

bankboy119, you said it. I am sick of funding ANY immigrants that don't follow the laws. My family followed the law, and one died on the boat on the way over. Stop the crazy pandering, the idea that we have to have COMPASSION for them because they are SO poor and SO abused. HELLO! Your here ILLEGALLY!

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Check out the video on Fox news about illegals now suing becuase of "harrassment."

I'm sorry but if people want to tell them to go back home that's not harrassment.

Todd 12 years, 3 months ago

Umm... did it occur to anyone that we need these immigrants? Without constant immigration our country stagnates. Open your eyes to the larger picture. If anything Kansas in particular needs to attract immigrants more than other areas of the country. Surely some other readers are aware that the midwest is not the "it" region in the USA.

Remember, when you talk about immigrants you are talking about people. They aren't stray or abandoned pets. These aren't criminal masterminds plotting to mess up your life. Immigrants are the people from other countries with enough gumption to risk it all to better themselves. That's a lot more than I can say for people that bitch about "immigration issues".

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

It would appear Mexico has a long term methodical plan to re-take the American south-west territory that was unfortunately, but through the colonization period of nation states, taken by the United States years ago during the settling of the west.

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

Todd, look, there is a LEGAL way to come into the country. See, there you go, wanting to have compassion for ILLEGAL activity. Can I come into your home and live there while you pay for me to eat your food, use your stuff and pay my medical bills? That is called trespassing and is ILLEGAL. One day when these terrorists from the Middle East realize that the American southwest is more hospitable than the deserts and mountains of the Middle East they will attack through this region of America and Mexico. Where will George Bush bee then, still saying "We are fully prepared" to what, to sit and watch it happen?

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

Oh, and Todd, im sorry i never ran into you in Kuwait or Iraq over the past 14 months of convoy missions that I was doing to keep your bum a** safe (according to Go. Bush) and sitting back here enjoying the good life.

drctrlr 12 years, 3 months ago

"Todd, look, there is a LEGAL way to come into the country. See, there you go, wanting to have compassion for ILLEGAL activity. Can I come into your home and live there while you pay for me to eat your food, use your stuff and pay my medical bills? That is called trespassing and is ILLEGAL."

Tell me something: these illegals, did they just show up to the US on the off chance that they might be able to apply for undeserved social services and benefits, maybe even to injure themselves and help themselves to free emergency room services? Is that their plan? Thanks for the clarification. I was under the impression (mistaken apparently, based on your astute and keen insight) that they arrive and find work quite easily on produce farms, construction sites and hotel laundry rooms. Also, thanks for making the connection between their desire to freeload and sponge off our system while holding the door open for Osama and his buddies. Yeah, that's what I would do too if I dragged my family across a desert and into a major metropolis: I'd stand there on the first corner I came to and wait for someone to help me before we starved to death. I'm through the looking-glass now, right along side you.

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

So your solution is to do what then? Let them live here undocumented? The bottom line question is something you (drctrlr) did bring up. What is spurring this increase in illegal immigration and how can it be controlled or stopped?

This question has not been addressed by this administration or others and when it is there is always flack by people screaming racism or some such thing which politicians then avoid like a plague.

Todd 12 years, 3 months ago

Using military service as a entry fee to the discussion is weak. Look, the USA has ~300 million people now. It's freakin' impossible for all 300 million people to serve in each and every war. (heck, all able bodied men aged 18-24 can't even serve at once)

This country has always had healthy immigration and in my opinion it's what makes us great. Our birthrate and cultural evolution can't sustain our greatness without immigration.

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

Ok, I'll agree that we need immigration in numbers, and that there jobs to be had by these new arrivals. Are you refering to legal or illegal immigration? But the question that I have not seen answered, or advice is on how to slove the massive ammounts of people arriving.

No, 300+ million can't serve, but the legal immigrants that were serving with me to attain their citizenship were grateful to have the opprotunity and were great soldiers to be with. This is one solution of many to integration that seems to be working very well.

Curious 12 years, 3 months ago

Right again. Healthy immigration. I know someone going through the process right now. She had her physical and a BUNCH of shots so they know she is healthy -- now she pays her money and puts in her application for admission to the United States -- and prays all is well.

From the Philippines, the waiting list has now reached 1983. If you applied then, your application is now up for review. If your sponsor has died meantime, please reapply and get back on the waiting list.

digrsr 12 years, 3 months ago

Noimbyks is f'n right. We need to find a way to stop the massive invasion of illegal/undocumented Mexicant's. Not only should we send back all the illiegals we drum up, we should send back the legals too. I can't tell the difference between 'em, can you? Maybe we can hold onto that George Lopez. . .he's just a funny guy overall.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Todd, do you honestly think that letting anybody and everybody come here is a good thing? Yes, that is their plan to come and get free services, the women and children don't come here to work. Most don't anyways. Look at the problems AZ and CA are having. Their governments are going bankrupt trying to take care of these illegals. AZ has declared a state of emergency, I believe NM has as well, and CA has or is considering it.

Have you talked to people who live in these areas? My wife models for a company out of Phoenix, we talked to the owner yesterday. Many go out to a corner and sit and wait to be picked up for work. Every day same thing. They get paid less, the government misses out on taxes, and they take American jobs.

The Mexican government wants these people out of the country. They have brochures telling people how to get into America and how to get across the border. The USA is the number one source of income for Mexico. Illegals are nothing but parasites.

drctrlr 12 years, 3 months ago

"Yes, that is their plan to come and get free services, the women and children don't come here to work. Most don't anyways. Look at the problems AZ and CA are having."

If you wanted the race card played, you got it:

Ask your model wife how her salad bar got stocked? Who made her hotel bed? Who processed the meat that ended up in your last meal? If these people you reference don't work, why would they be on the corner waiting to find work? Contradictory, no? That's a rather large and vital workforce for you to lump into the lazy and shiftless category, wouldn't you agree? No wait, you wouldn't. You and digrsr don't want anyone darker than yourselves to have the right to look you in the eye when you pass them on the street.

These people are bankrupting State governments? Right, because state governments are the model institutions of fiscal restraint. Missed opportunity for taxes? Now there I agree with you. Tell me, who had the money to pay under the table in the first place? Where's the accountability for the people who hired them and didn't report their earnings. Were they illegals as well. If not, it'd force you to acknowledge that we are doing this to ourselves, wouldn't it.

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

As I stated earlier, someone has to bring race and bigotry into the arguement when they have no valid arguement themselves.

What's the solution other than screaming that everything is racist?

drctrlr 12 years, 3 months ago

So, because I took issue with the comment that Mexican illegals are lazy parisites, I'M the one with no arguement!?

You can't dismiss what I brought up earlier because your knucklehead friend wanted to cite his wife's employer's example as a concrete reason that an entire working-class segment of a single race are worthless. You want discourse? Deny that the US's dependency on this labor force is what's keeping W and his adminstration from doing what you want to do: seal the borders with ten foot thick walls.

Todd 12 years, 3 months ago

My ancestors were undocumented workers not so long ago. Just a few generations ago a large percentage of the people who lived in the plain states (ie rectange states) were born overseas. The mass immigration from Germany to the midwest in the 1800's made the midwest what it is today.

Todd 12 years, 3 months ago

W doesn't want to seal the borders. His adminstration wants to allow all the workers to come on revolving visas. I imagine the goal good be either good or bad:

Good: After a couple work visas green cards are granted. (instead of a 20yr wait and lottery system you could 'earn' it)

Bad: Cycle workers through temp. visas forever therefore creating a non-citizen underclass.

I get worried anytime government gets involved in documenting anything. Once all the workers are documented the government can/will control commerce more than it does already.

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry? "...that Mexican illegals are lazy parasites..." is your comment, not anyone else's here. I can cut and paste too! :o)

Last I checked fences and walls make great neighbors, they prevent encroachment on property. But then you will have to PAY people an honest wage to do work, what a tragedy that would be.

So drctrlr wants illegal immigrants AND the social problems that comes with them. I respect your opinion.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Not all the illegals are lazy but yes they all are parasites. They're sucking the life(money) from the body(economy). So yeah I'd say they're parasites. The salad and the hotel bed? Hopefully they were legal. It has nothing to do with color of skin. It has to do with being in this country legally. I'm sorry if you feel that darker skinned people are inferior. I thought that teaching was eliminated awhile ago. You've proven me wrong.

drctrlr 12 years, 3 months ago

Sorry that I paraphrased:

"The USA is the number one source of income for Mexico. Illegals are nothing but parasites."

There, does that remove any racial undertones. To you, it probably does.

Nonimbyks, you've probably never visited a construction site and witnessed the work involved in pouring a driveway or framing a house. You've probably never done it yourself, as I have. If I'm wrong and you have, then you know that when doing that type of work, you can't be lazy and shifless and hold a job like that. How about repetative and mundane tasks? How many beds can you make in 8 hours. For illegals working as maids, the answer is as many as need to be made. The concept of menial labor is lost on you, because there has never been a need for you or I to do it. Not with this steady stream of undocumented laborers being allowed to migrate and stay where these jobs are needed.

I keep refering to the work these people do, and you want to proclaim that they do very little. Again, how do hotel beds get made, how do cows end up on your plate and how did the lettuce end up in your BLT?

Let's not be hypocrites, let's be consistent: make sure, when we set out to prosecute illegals, we are also processing their straw bosses and the ceo's at these companies who are pocketing the savings they get for hiring illegals. While these head honchos get rich, the communities, cities and states are footing the bill for the social costs.

I'm not soliciting compassion, understanding, sympathy or any other feel-good sentiment. Let's take a close look at who's holding the carrot and stick.

MarkyDSaad 12 years, 3 months ago

This is not a race issue. This is a cultural issue. A good portion of Americans, no matter what race or skin color, are stuck in a mind set that they are owed something, entitlement as it were. This is not true. All people no matter who they are or where they come from should need and be willing to work to support any system that they desire to be part of.
It is a shame that not everyone can be born in a state that is free or even worthwhile, but that is not the burden of those who are lucky enough to be born into a decent situation. Why is it that immigrants feel the need to come to another country? What do they believe can be attained in the new country that was not available in the country that they are chosing to leave? Sure, it will always be something that is better that they will want to attain, and most of them are willing to work to attain the better status that is on the other side, but this does not mean that it is their right. It also does not mean that the people that are in the country that were born there do not have a right to disagree with people moving in when they are not doing it in a legal manner. Can they not find a resolution in their own country to bring it up to a point where it is competitive with the lifestyle that would be affordable in this country? I do not recall Mexico being so bad off that the government was not willing to work to be better for the people. So, why not invest in the building up of their own country?

MarkyDSaad 12 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it is greed that drives Americans to support the illegal immigration, and not just from Mexico although it seems to be more an issue of convenience for them, but it does not make it any less wrong for the illegal immigrants to immigrate without going through the legal process. I would love to have been born with a silver spoon, and not have to work to have money to afford to do the luxurious stuff that is on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but I was not and therefore I work to attain the luxuries that I desire. If I went out and stole the money to shortcut the system to get what I want no one would disagree that it is wrong. Even if I said I was poor and under privileged.
I grew up in Texas and had many Latin American and Mexican friends. There were just as many Mexicans that were great people as there were any other minority or even caucasians. There were also just as many criminals and miscreants in each class. The truth is they are all just people and they all have the good and the bad in them. It is their choices and the effects of those choices that lead people to worry about and deal with them as a lesser person. The man hiring the illegals to work the hotel has just as much averice as the illegal who is changing the sheets and cleaning the rooms.

MarkyDSaad 12 years, 3 months ago

I do not believe the solution is in shutting down the borders or in giving all of the immigrants legal status. It may not even be a problem that has a reasonable solution. We must all learn to live together. There is no excuse for people who sit and bitch about the immigrant situation. America has more than enough opportunities for people to have a great standard of living whether there are other nations enjoying this as well. I have yet to run into a person who is willing to work hard for a living that is not afforded the best of what life has to offer. Respect is earned, Love is given, and beauty and freedom can not be taken away from us we must choose to give them up. There is more than enough satisfaction and freedom to go around as long as you have the right attitude.
Maybe I am just crazy because every morning I wake up to a great opportunity, and it is incredible how well life has turned out for me.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

No Marky we do not all need to learn to live together. The illegals need to get out of my country and stop driving the standard of living down. I'm not just sitting and bitching as you're putting it. I am concerned about my country and don't want it to end up like Mexico. I guess another viable solution would be to annex Mexico.

By the way, do you know what happens to illegal immigrants that try to get into Mexico from other countries? They don't get the kind of treatment they receive here. They are prosecuted. They are warned. If they come back, there are serious ramifications. People from poorer countries than Mexico that try to illegally immigrate to Mexico actually get punished. Just as the illegals here should. Not just a slap on the wrist. Illegals are dangerous. Did you read about the illegal down in Florida who has been captured and sent back a 1/2 dozen times and then was still here and killed some one while driving drunk? Punish the vermin. Throw them over the border. Build a wall. If that doesn't stop them, build a mine field or something. They have no right or rights in this country.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Posted by KsTwister (anonymous) on March 2, 2006 at 11:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Today he is probably voting for the work amnesty bill and will sink us all."The committee will begin by considering the Specter proposal that contains an unlimited guest worker amnesty program which invites the entire illegal alien population of 11-13 million to participate. Moreover, neither the illegal aliens nor new guest workers will be required to return to their countries of origin once the "guest" work period ends, because the legislation gives the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security the authority to waive any required departure. " No wonder our Social Security is in trouble.

digrsr 12 years, 3 months ago

I think I know why Mexicans might make better workers than us all. They won't sit in their offices arguing about how they'll destroy Work in America with people on the interent they wouldn't be caught dead talking to in real life. (I'm looking at you BankBoy)

nonimbyks 12 years, 3 months ago

Here, put this in your pipe and smoke it while you welcome your illegal employees to do your menial tasks. Apparently they don't want to be in school anyway.

MyName 12 years, 3 months ago

God, you people are so stupid!

There are over 8 million "illegals" in the U.S. right now. That's 2.5% of the population. You can't just shoot them or something. Not only that, but if they all up and left, our economy would tank. Moreover, since most of these "vermin" are involved in agriculture, the price of food would go way up. Which is probably okay if you're a rich person, but sucks for everyone else.

I mean, only 2% of our legal population is directly involved in agriculture as it is. I guarantee there are some crops that couldn't even get harvested without these illegals, but it's okay if people in America starve, and we lose one of our major exports, because we're getting rid of "illegal vermin." In case you couldn't tell, I was just being ironic there!

Punish the vermin. Throw them over the border. Build a wall. If that doesn't stop them, build a mine field or something. They have no right or rights in this country.

No, they do have rights in this country. Rights like due process and free speech, and prevention of cruel and unusual punishment apply to everyone in this country, legal or illegal, citizen or not. The only exception the framers had was for slaves. Do you consider these people to be your slaves? I hope not, 'cause if you do, you're a moron.

Bubarubu 12 years, 3 months ago

NumbersUSA opposes legal immigration as well as legal immigration. If you want to advocate for immigration law enforcement as opposed to a total ban on immigration, don't sign up with them. The following are also excerpted from essays published on their site:

About Jews: "Jews are acutely aware of their role as teachers. And a large part of their influence, despite their small numbers, is their ability to evoke guilt by reminding others of anti-semitic acts performed, or permitted, in the past. And since the guilty acts were all too real, the approach works. Other groups are learning from Jews how to use presumptions of, or sometimes real, guilt to secure, under the guise of ''compassion,'' political or economic advantage."

On the Catholic Church: "The Church's name and organization clout are likely to remain indefinitely at the service of pro-natalism and immigration expansionism, with or without the assent of its millions of loyal contributors. This points up a fundamental irony in the Church's confusion of the realms of God and Caesar the Church hierarchy has power without responsibility - Caesar, not Rome, will be accountable and responsible for the social and environmental costs of disruptions flowing from mass immigration and rapid population growth."

I was surprised and not a little offended and then I realized that NumbersUSA links to a number of readings from the Social Contract Press which, as I mentioned in comments on the other story, has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Don't sign up with this group, don't endorse racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Catholicism. Regardless of your opinion in immigration, legal or illegal, don't lend your voice to this organization. Their policy endorsements are nothing more than an attempt to give legitimacy to their very thinly veiled hatred.

Bubarubu 12 years, 3 months ago

nonimby--Thanks, that article you posted only went to prove the point. I mean, if the children of immigrants don't enroll then the law is meaningless and there's no harm. If they do, however, then in-state tuition encourages them in a way that benefits the economy as a whole. Well done, the value of in-state tuition for the children of immigrants has been proven.

Or did you mean to make sweeping generalizations about an entire ethnic group? So much for no racial undertones... Either way I suppose it goes to make my point.

drctrlr 12 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for outting yourself ljreader. Knowing that you advocate NumbersUSA at least lets me know the real source for your opposition to educating the undocumented segment of Kansas' population.

And nonimbyks, very enlightening reading. You picked the McPaper of America to bolster the claim that "apparently they don't want to be in school anyway." Somebody forgot to show that article to the 221 undocumented college students who took advantage of this law this past year.

Our schools in SW KS are unindated by the children of illegal workers and teachers in these classrooms struggle everyday to try to make some headway in teaching all of their wards. The idea that some of these teachers did their jobs so well that their students can actually move on to the next level of academics is remarkable. The notion that these students, who have LIVED IN THIS STATE for the majority of their lives, don't qualify as KS RESIDENTS is equally flabergasting. They were raised and educated in KS, no matter what statute you want to endorse or amend. That we'd let out-of-state lawyers and residents threaten us with lawsuits to force our hand at how we chose to conduct our business, well that's a convenient cop out. I don't know any true Kansan that would let Missouri, Nebraska or any other state corner us into dictating or mandating how we legislate and enforce our laws. We allowed large industries the opportunity to attract illegals to our state with the promise of steady work, and now we as a state want to deny that such an interdependence exists or even recognize the potential of these laborers talents and what further contributions they might represent to Kansas.

Even if we allow the politically powerful to wield their legislative might against educating our own (as they are so keen on doing in this state), I will sleep well knowing little will change. This great state will continue on down its path locked in its interdependence with illegals; those students who have made it this far will find a way to fulfill their goals, and having fought the odds they have, why wouldn't they; and people like bankerboy and nonimbyks will someday come to the realization that their is little they can say or do to put this genie back in its bottle.

Oh, by the way: Nonimbyks, does "N.O.N.I.M.B.Y.KS" stand for something, like maybe "No such and such In My Back Yard, KS"? Tell me, what does that second N refer to? I'd like to know if my suspicions are correct.

Bubarubu 12 years, 3 months ago

ljreader--Glad to help. I agree with your call to action. Obviously you and I disagree on what action is called for, but citizen involvement is the only way to make sure something gets done.

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