Archive for Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Immigrant tuition law survives challenge

March 8, 2006


— An attempt to repeal a law giving undocumented students a tuition break failed Tuesday, but the issue rages on.

"I've got my recorded votes, and the postcards will go out," Rep. Becky Hutchins, R-Holton, said, alluding to the expected onslaught of political mailouts during this fall's election.

In 2004, the state approved a law that 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.

Supporters of the tuition break say it is key to allowing children of undocumented immigrants to get a degree. A full-time undergraduate from Kansas pays $2,412 per semester at Kansas University for in-state tuition, compared with $6,638 for out-of-state residents.

But Hutchins sought to repeal the law, saying it was wrong to provide a benefit to people who are in the country illegally.

Rep. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin, however, proposed an amendment that gutted Hutchins' bill and would have increased penalties against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

He said sanctions against unscrupulous employers were the best way to tackle the problem of illegal immigration.

The first part of Holland's proposal, which struck Hutchins' repeal, was approved 63-58 and produced the most dramatic debate.

Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, and a refugee from Cuba, voted to strike the repeal, saying that when he attended college at Wichita State University, he often was frustrated by having to pay the higher out-of-state tuition.

Rep. Mike Kiegerl, R-Olathe, a native of Germany, said he also had to struggle as a young man in the United States, and that it wasn't fair to provide a break "to people who don't belong here."

But the repeal was rejected.

Then Hutchins and many supporters of the repeal argued against the second part of Holland's amendment, saying it was unfair to employers. The House voted 62-59 to send that provision back to committee, but this late in the legislative session that means it's probably dead.

House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, who had wanted to repeal the tuition law, said he thought Tuesday's votes signaled the end of debate on the issue this year.

"It's not going to come back out of the committee," Mays said.

Hutchins said she might try to amend her proposal onto another bill. Either way, the issue definitely will become part of the political debate heading to this fall's election, she said.

She and even supporters of the tuition break conceded that many Kansans are adamantly opposed to helping the immigrant students.

But leaders of the Kansas Catholic Conference and the Salvation Army wrote legislators, asking them to keep the law intact.


ma 12 years ago

For you to know it is against KU's philosopy of education to hire PhD students graduating from ku. That is true for most universities. And yes is good for ku and for Kansas that they are studying here. They receive funding for their research and their research is many times done with schools in Kansas, people suffering from illness etc.. Is that not good for Kansas?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Maybe you should take that up with the Germans and the Mexicans.

ma 12 years ago

I have the impression that most of you against "in-state" tuition laws are not exaclty very cultivated..... You are just scared because you know that these kids have potential and that you ignorants are not going to be able to keep up

Godot 12 years ago

These foreign students help KU, but they don't help Kansas. They get the hell out of Dodge as soon as they get their state-subsidized PhD's. They go back to China or India or Pakistan with the knowledge they gained at KU, unless, of course, they are lucky enough to land a job at a big corporation or big name university (not KU).

What is "good for KU" does not always translate into what is "good for Kansas," or even "good for the US."

By the way, I don't buy the argument that there are no US citizens who qualify for these positions. Rather, there are no US citizens who qualify for these positions who are willing to come to Kansas.

nonimbyks 12 years ago

What part of illegal do we not understand? Driving drunk is illegal, but I suffer if caught. It's ok to be here ILLEGALLY. Soon it will be The United Mexican States. I can't wait.

kcwarpony 12 years ago

"We should send all foreigners back to their own countries, whether illegal or legal!"

I agree. Immigration laws have been lax for over 500 years. It's time we did something about.

Confrontation 12 years ago

wonderhorse: This was a play on jumblaman, who I don't feel deserves to be referred to as a "man." "Kid" is much more appropriate.

ma 12 years ago

Jumblaman: Have you ever been abroad? This is a rhetoric question because the answer seems pretty clear to me. Do you know that there are countries out there in which people can go to school (higher ed.) for free? Also, for your info, most of KU international students are recruited and encouraged to apply by KU. This is due to the fact that there are no U.S. citizens qualified for these positions. Do you think U.S. is doing them a favor? The answer is NO. They help the University of Kansas to be a number one research institution (if you know what that is) This is call cooperation! You should go and check out the Physics/Math/ ... departments at K.U. You would be surprised. By the way, when you say that you see too many foreign people downtown, how do you identify them, just because they are not "white"? America is a multicolored country and a country in which I believe color is not related at all to citizenship. Finally, do you know that when you are talking about "America" you are including Mexicans in your comments. America is a continent that comprises more than just the U.S.

Jamesaust 12 years ago

"Soon it will be The United Mexican States."

Ha Ha Ha.

Mexico's offical name is Estados Unidos Mexicanos (a/k/a, the United Mexican States).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Yea, SS, those darn muslims from Mexico and Guatemala are plotting a nefarious attack as we speak. Those 60-hour weeks at sh*t jobs is just a ruse.

jumblaman 12 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Confrontation 12 years ago

Ma- You are exactly right! Jumblaman obviously is a racist, since he freaks out from seeing other skin tones around town. Ignorant Americans raising ignorant children. This is why our children cannot compete internationally. A smart kid here is usually equivalent to a drop-out other countries.

Jumblaidiot said: "It is because we subsidize them. Sure they pay fees, but they get a much better deal than if they were back home." That makes not sense!!! In Germany, if a student is intellegent enough, he/she gets a free education. College costs about $150 per semester in certain African countries. This is extremely competitive, and American school pale in comparison. How are they getting a better deal here? They want to experience other countries and expand their educations. I bet you stopped expanding your education after age 5.

Todd 12 years ago

Ummm, I'm a citizen and I want tax dollars used to improve the state/country. I, with my citizen powers, direct the government to give in-state tuition to people who graduate from Kansas high schools and have the qualifications to get admitted to the state colleges.

The issue here is that the people of Kansas disagree.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Is there a problem with the supply side of the meds?

jumblaman 12 years ago

Why race? This is not a race issue, it is a citizenship issue. We citizens pay our taxes and expect those taxes to be used to educate our children, not the children of other countries. Other countries do have good education systems, but they all want to come and study in ours for some reason. Doesn't that alert you to the fact that there maybe a benefit to them over their own systems? It is because we subsidize them. Sure they pay fees, but they get a much better deal than if they were back home.

jumblaman 12 years ago

Confriontation wrote - jumblaman-How can you look at one professor and judge all professors? You wouldn't like that type of stereotype on whatever kind of profession you have.

It's not about stretching it to all professors. This guy has a conviction in britain for a serious child sex crime. Here he would be in jail for a very long time. There he gets out, then comes here to work at KU. He is on no sex register and could be living next to you. I'm told he only works in a lab and doesn't contact students. But the fact is that with foreign people coming here we don't know their backgrounds. We look to see if they are terrorists, but not rapists.

bankboy119 12 years ago

I didn't see that but that is ridiculous. People are insane.

jumblaman 12 years ago

It is unfair to true Americans to give these breaks to non-Americans. Weould an American get free tuition in Mexico or Germany? NO! Why here?

SupplySide 12 years ago

Forget the insanity of tuition and drivers license for "undocumented workers",nobody seems to think about National security.Isn't it important to get a handle on who is a humble migrant and who is working for Alla?

Confrontation 12 years ago

Jamesaust- Where do you get off trying to make sense on this board?! Your post is great, but there are certain racist/paranoid/slow learning people on here who cannot see past their own "white power" mentality.

nb4d 12 years ago

Yes Todd,

Let's overwhelm Kansas with illegal immigrants, let our tax money go to help them, not to fix our own city/state.

You're such a great American.

jumblaman 12 years ago

I agree, there are too many foreigners at KU and I guess downtown too. And some of them were criminals in their own countries. There is at least one British pedophile working at KU. He should be in jail, not being paid with our tax dollars and getting his kids college paid too.

james bush 12 years ago

The whole system is cobbled up and this is just one more facet of a larger problem. I don't think anyone has the solution but illegal immigration should be stopped; that's not hard to understand.

jumblaman 12 years ago

Confrontation - you are confused. Why, if these foreigners have better schools back home, do they want to come here at all? It's because we give them a free ride. You can't blame them for wanting a better life, but Americans should look after themselves first. Why does KU give a job to a british scientist with a history sexually abusing kids, when there are Americans who could do the job? The liberal elite gone mad!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Who is punishing the legal immigrants? If they have US residency (the definition of "legal immigrant",) and also have lived in Kansas long enough to get state residency (one year,) then they pay in-state tuition. And they don't even have to graduate from a Kansas high school.

wonderhorse 12 years ago


"...jumblakid...." Who are you talking to? I don't see anyone on this board with this name.

djazz 12 years ago

Nope. If a legal citizen from Omaha has to pay an extra four grand tuition at KU, no illegal breaks! Makes no sense.

How is it this country used to get all the work done just fine without 20% of the work force being undocumented illegal workers?

adky 12 years ago

We should send all foreigners back to their own countries, whether illegal or legal! Has anyone noticed how many there are around? Just go downtown and sit in a coffee shop or bar. They come here, take our education, take our best jobs and we are all too happy to give it to them. Give them something else - a good kick back home

Confrontation 12 years ago

Oh, by the way jumblakid, KU international students come here because they want to experience diversity in their educations. Those who truly want to be educated (few Americans) will want to experience a variety of educational settings. You'd be amazed at the different ideas found in other countries, although I bet you're scared at the thought of non-Americans thinking. If you did some research (highly unlikely) into the competitive educational systems in places like India or Senegal, Africa, you would see that American kids have it waaaay too easy. Very few kids in those countries ever make it to college, and those who do are extremely bright. Everyone else around the world is laughing at our educational system. Especially the one in Kansas.

topflight 12 years ago

Everytime is see this it makes me angry. Lets reward the damn people for illegally entering the country. That is bull crap. Save that money for in state children who are poor and want to go to college.

Todd 12 years ago

Short/medium/long term immigration is great for Kansas and America. This is a state and country of immigrants. If you don't support immigration then you are the one who's being a sorry excuse for an American.

Somehow our laws became messed up on many issues. Drugs, immigration, etc... Our levels of government can correct/offset each other. This issue is an example of that.

Confrontation 12 years ago

jumblaman-How can you look at one professor and judge all professors? You wouldn't like that type of stereotype on whatever kind of profession you have. The legal immigrants that are at KU do NOT receive a full ride. I don't know where you get that from. Some of them have definitely earned scholarships that were provided by KU to attract a higher level of student. Most of them have to prove they can afford all of their tuition before they step foot on campus. I personally know at least 15 international students on campus, and I wish you good luck in finding any American students who can compete with them. They make KU a better place by providing diversity, new ideas, and knowledge. Not everything has to be white just to please you.

drctrlr 12 years ago

Can you believe that the part of Holland's amendment calling for punishment of employers who employ illegal immigrants was dismissed as unfair? To who? Employers who help perpetuate this cycle?

nb4d 12 years ago

Let me see if this makes sense.

It's illegal to hire an illegal immigrant.

We give illegal immigrants tuition breaks.

We find them, but they don't get deported.

The liberals and conservatives both blame each other.

It's everyone else's fault.

How can it be illegal to hire an illegal alien, but not illegal to give them money (which is essentially what we're doing by giving them a tuition break)?

I just don't get how this makes sense.

Now - go ahead and fight amongst yourselves. Bash liberals, bash republicans, bash me, talk trash about our president.

Or, you could stop crying about how everyone else is doing something to you, and give up the "victim" mentality.

Shelley Bock 12 years ago

Hey, Bush wants illegals from Mexico, no it's his "guest worker" program. Might these be our new "economic slaves"?

I'm the parent of a recent college grad and a Spring high school grad-to-be. I don't know where the money is going to come from, but I know I'll be working like a dog trying to help pay the oldest's loans and the youngest's entry into college. Nevertheless, I see value in educating their contemporaries who, while their parents are here illegally, want to get an education.

Sigmund 12 years ago

Personally I would prefer paying moderately higher wages and prices for services to US citizens. What I find mystifying is how people will complain about the mind numbingly low wages here in Lawrence and yet refuse to see how illegal workers impact the wages they receive; or how students will complain about the high cost of tuition (and their skyrocketing student loan debt) and yet support in state tuition for illegals.

Todd 12 years ago

I'm constantly amazed at how obtuse people who post here are. Our immigration laws are messed up at the federal level. (where immigration is handled) At the state level we have to deal with reality and do what's best for the state. What's best for the state is to attract and retain the best, brightest, and most productive people we realistically can. Kansas will be a better place because children of immigrants get a college education. I support the tuition assistance or whatever you call it for this reason. (it makes Kansas a better place)

Jamesaust 12 years ago

"[Holland] said sanctions against unscrupulous employers were the best way to tackle the problem of illegal immigration."

No, providing a legal means to fill jobs is the best way to tackle the problem of illegal immigration. Indeed, the only way.

Foreign people need jobs they can't find elsewhere - by the millons. U.S. employers need to fill jobs for which they can't find employees to match - by the millions. What makes some so stupid they can't figure this out? May they all end up in nursing homes that refuse to employ foreignors (and where they can change their own bedpans).

It never ceases to amaze me that the persons most sensitive to the price of goods and services are always the first to complain about foreigners - either here, or there. Neither do I benignly accept the audacity of those who complain about high numbers of aliens 'costing' their city or state money. As the setting sun follows the rising sun, areas of high alien concentration are unavoidably the most economically dynamic areas in the country (part of a self-enforcing loop).

DaREEKKU 12 years ago

I agree Hepburn, but as a middle class family student I think the WHOLE system needs reformed. I agree with the bill but find it hard not to have hard feelings when I get screwed every year because my parents make that middle class large income bracket, and believe you me they are barely scrimping by, but the government says they "make too much." So as I agree with the bill, I think they should do reforms in other areas as well to be fair to ALL students.

Confrontation 12 years ago

ADKY is back with an extremely racist attitude. Most immigrants being educated in Lawrence are paying much higher rates than in-state students. ADKY is just afraid of educating people of color, since they may take away the white man's job. "They take our best jobs." Companies that hire non-citizens must show that they cannot find a comparable citizen employee, which is often the case. Immigrants that come here for education go through much higher level schools than here in the U.S., where our kids can fail all classes and still graduate. ADKY is just jealous that these immigrants could outsmart him/her/it any day of the week. Maybe you just need more education, or maybe you are intellectually inferior (most likely the case). Jumblaman is also super paranoid. These "foreigners" at KU have to pay their tuition in full, and do not get all these loans the American students get. Most of KU's brightest and most productive students are non-citizens. Maybe the "white man" just needs to step up to the challenge and increase his intelligence, rather than being scared of immigrants and trying to deport everyone.

SupplySide 12 years ago

Just pull the plug on the social welfare system you liberals have created and throw U.S. bums into the fields of lettuce.This whole ,"they just do work that our citizens refuse to do."Well if our bum class that fifty years of Liberalism has created was not allowed to hang on the street and deficate behind a person's business then we might be getting our lettuce and broccoli picked. But we know what would happen if we started to actually make the bum class accountable ,can you say ACLspew.I can hear it now,"why it's that person's right to sleep in front of that shop and deficate in the ally."And then some sort of riming platitude ,you know like the Bush lied soldiers died rime."Bush does damage gimme dat sandwich."Or maybe Halliburton tossed in for good measure,there has gotta be some millage you loonies on the left can get.08 it's just around the corner psychos ,start scamming.

Shelley Bock 12 years ago

Since you all want the illegals to go home, get out your checkbook and pay, pay, pay. If all of the estimated 12 million illegal workers were to leave, there would be skyrocketing inflation and a lack of services.

Why not punish the employers - restaurants, stores, construction business and others - who employ these individuals? Illegals don't come here to vacation and over stay their visa. They come here to work 60+ hour weeks and send much of that money back to the homeland. If the money incentive didn't exist, they would much rather be home with family, friends and a known language.

So if you want to send all of the illegals home and don't want those children of illegals who are here to get an education, you're going to pay in other ways. Your fast food, new home, food and other services will go up through the roof. US citizens who are unemployed won't take those jobs; they're too used to the public dole. The only way you might get the jobs filled is to pay much, much higher wages. (Hey, maybe that's good for a living wage. I might start arguing for their exclusion.)

Personally, I'm in favor of lowering tuition for these future US citizens. They will know more about what it means to be an American than most of us. And, who knows, with an education and decent job, they might want to exclude aliens in order to protect their position.

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