Archive for Sunday, December 30, 2007

In-state tuition fight may head to high court

Controversial state law allows lower rate for some illegal immigrants

December 30, 2007


— The fight over in-state tuition in Kansas for the children of some illegal immigrants may be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kris Kobach, an attorney representing the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said the plaintiffs are planning to ask the Supreme Court to rule on the question of whether they have the legal standing to challenge the law.

"We are still embroiled in legal wrangling on threshold issues," said Kobach, who also is chairman of the Kansas Republican Party and a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

This month, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver denied a request to rehear a challenge of the state law, which was enacted in 2004.

That ruling supported earlier decisions by a three-judge panel of the court and a district court judge.

The law allows some illegal immigrants to pay the same lower tuition rates as legal Kansans at state universities, community colleges and vocational schools. The student must have lived in Kansas at least three years, graduated from a Kansas high school, and seek or promise to seek legal status.

In Kansas, 243 students are receiving the in-state tuition under the law, according to the Kansas Board of Regents. Most of those - 193 - are attending community colleges; 46 are at state universities, including 11 at Kansas University; three are at technical schools, and one is at a technical college.

The plaintiffs, who were all classified as out-of-state students and had to pay the higher tuition to attend Kansas schools, argued that the law violated their constitutional rights of equal protection by granting illegal immigrants a benefit that they couldn't receive.

But the appellate panel said that the plaintiffs couldn't show that they would have benefited even if the law was struck down.

Ten states, including Kansas, have in-state tuition laws, and national groups have said a court ruling in this case could affect those laws in other states.

Supporters of these laws say they're intended to help children of immigrants who were brought to the United States and have worked hard in high school but then are unable to go to college if they have to pay the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate. And they say the nation is going to need a better-educated work force.

Numerous attempts have been made to repeal the law in the Legislature, but they have all come up short. Some key legislators have vowed to try again to repeal the law when the Legislature starts its 2008 session next month.

Meanwhile, the state paid an outside law firm $163,856 to defend the law, according to Ashley Anstaett, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office. Anstaett said those payments were made during the previous administration to the law firm of Spencer Fane Britt and Browne of Kansas City, Mo.


macmoses69 9 years, 3 months ago

This man Kobach is a nativist, vigilantist, alarmist, restrictionist and fear-monger. Anybody belonging to FAIR and other population control organizations are racists, nativist and vigilantists. Read on.

The Immigration Debate / FAIR and Heritage Foundation - With origins in the environmental and population control movements, restrictionist groups like FAIR, Heritage Foundation were viewed warily at first by the New Right forces of the Republican Party. The booming U.S. economy of the late 1990s, along with the prevailing enthusiasm for globalization, didn't provide fertile ground for anti-immigrant movements. By June 2007, when Congress was considering a comprehensive immigration reform bill, restrictionism was sweeping through the country powered by a new anti-immigration rhetoric stressing national security, respect for the rule of law, and the well-being of citizen workers and government services and these rhetorics have resonated well with the conservatives and the neoconservatives of the right. This is because xenophobia, nationalism, and racism of many radical restrictionists became draped in patriotism after Sept. 11, 2001.

By appealing to the rule of law, restrictionists tap the core belief of the U.S. public that we are a nation of laws and that no one should stand outside the law. They have transformed a fundamentally liberal concept into a conservative law-and-order framework. On yet another front in the immigration debate, liberals have lost the war of ideas. While there is certainly an explicit cultural and racial component of the restrictionist movement, the populist message that taps resentment of the government and big business is now central to the anti-immigration movement. This was evident in the post-immigration bill rhetoric of the restrictionists. Anti-immigration forces in the last several years have also succeeded in popularizing the "rule of law" argument. The current rule of law framework used by restrictionists is an extension of their slogan, "What don't you understand about illegal?" which they found had great resonance among those looking for a restrictionist argument that wasn't tinged with racism or nativism. Building on this demand that the government treat unauthorized immigrants as law breakers, restrictionists have in the past couple of years mounted a broader, conceptual plea that government uphold the "rule of law" and no longer tolerate "illegal" immigrants, who from the moment they crossed the border became criminals, and when in the country routinely engage in document deception and document theft. Reference(s):

getreal 9 years, 3 months ago

Plumberscrack (appropriate name) shows his ignorance. Not one of these students is going to college for FREE. These students are paying their way at the same rate as their classmates who graduate from a Kansas High School and have lived in Kansas.

Anyone who is willing to deny these kids an opportunity to attend college is simply lacking compassion and the foresight that their education benefits our state and our society.

Of course these nay sayers are the same ones who didn't want the legislature to spend more money on ALL kids in K-12.

Shame on them!

weeslicket 9 years, 3 months ago

"The law allows some illegal immigrants to pay the same lower tuition rates as legal Kansans at state universities, community colleges and vocational schools. The student must have lived in Kansas at least three years, graduated from a Kansas high school, and seek or promise to seek legal status." equal protection under the law (14th amendment) is equal protection under the law according to this nation's constituion and subsequent rulings by the united states supreme court. ALL kansas students have the right to equal educational opportunity (e.g., paying the same tuition) regardless of background (see Pyler v. Doe, 1982 and Title VI, Civil Rights Act, 1964). the state of kansas can define an in-state student as 1) having lived in the state for the past three years, or 2) having graduated from a kansas high school-- but's that's as far as that definition can go.

 "...and seek or promise to seek legal status."
 "In Kansas, 243 students are receiving the in-state tuition under the law according to the Kansas Board of Regents."
 interesting, because one of the conclusions reached in Pyler v. Doe was that school districts (schools) CAN request academic records from former attendance centers, but CANNOT request ANY documentation from students concerning their or their family's alien status.
 i will assume that the only reason the KBR knows of these 243 individuals is because they self-reported.  no student, kansan or otherwise, is under any constitutional obligation to provide such information, and any institution that requests this information is in violation of federal law.

Kathy Theis-Getto 9 years, 3 months ago

plumberscrack (Anonymous) says: These are things I have to pay for being an american citizen but illegals don't:..Only in American! :..strike up the band

plumber - The little bit of government subsidy an immigrant receives is not hurting you - it is the white trash "legal" "American" hiking up your tax bill, your insurance bill. You know, the ones living on welfare, going to the emergency room and never paying their bill? Look back in your family history and be thankful the attitude was not the same toward your immigrant relative.

toefungus 9 years, 3 months ago

Change the law, and have these students, as part of admission, require names and admit where their parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and all relatives and friends live and work. Provide this information to INS the same way schools provide information to the military. That way society benefits directly from their enrollment.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 years, 3 months ago

plumberscrack If the parents are living and working in Kansas, they are paying taxes, unless their employer is paying them cash. Many work and have taxes withheld, but don't file for refunds for fear of being caught. If they are renting a house, trust me, the landlord charges enough rent to pay for the taxes and make a profit. So these few students in this program are not bumming off our system. If they become educated and become citizens, then they will more than pay back the state and country for their cheaper education. Of course, they might end up earning more than you. Is that your real fear? The influx of immigrants, legal and otherwise, have kept our country from becoming stagnate.

If these people would put their energies toward real problems, instead of picking on the hand full of students covered under this law, then maybe problems would be solved. But these guys would rather spread fear and hatred. Gotta have that common enemy to keep the people afraid and following inept leaders.

Shardwurm 9 years, 3 months ago

Fear and hatred?


Why don't you get a job and start paying taxes so maybe you can start caring where the money goes.

Do you know how much it costs for a college education right now? Every dime we give away is a dime more that the rest of us have to pay.

My parents divorced when I was an infant. Why aren't you paying me money for the emotional damage I suffered? My father was an alcoholic. Are you going to pay for my counseling?

These children aren't at fault for being born to criminals. But there are many things in life that aren't fair. Play the hand you were dealt like the rest of us.

macmoses69 9 years, 3 months ago

Initially Huckabee's answer when he was jostled for making illegal immigrant student pay in-state tuition was a very humane "that you cannot visit the sins of parents on their children........" That answer resonated very well with me. However, recently he has changed his tune and stance a little bit which makes me very nervous now. Those who think the sins of parents should be visited on innocent children should bow down their heads in shame. That view is not supported by the New Testament of the Bible and such stance by some people who claim to be Christians is worrying and gives Christianity a bad name. On the whole, I support intoto Obama's stance on the immigration issue.

not_dolph 9 years, 3 months ago

Where's Janet Murguia when you need her...

fletch 9 years, 3 months ago

"Change the law, and have these students, as part of admission, require names and admit where their parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and all relatives and friends live and work"

Why don't you have them compile a list of communists while they're at it?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 years, 3 months ago

I do have a job. And I have a masters degree, so I know how much an education costs. These students will get an education and become citizens, so they will contribute to your child's or grandchildren's education as well. Or maybe you'd rather have them become criminals instead. So many anti- education people on this forum. It's too bad.

EricWeber 9 years, 3 months ago

The issue is why do they get lower tuition than Iowa residents that also have an Uncle who is a resident of Kansas? It is discrimination against legal residents of the USA!

EricWeber 9 years, 3 months ago

Yes but the question is why do illegal immigrants receive lower tuition?

Wilbur_Nether 9 years, 3 months ago

Receive lower tuition than whom? The out-of-State kid with the Kansas uncle? For the same reason any other resident of Kansas would receive lower tuition: because they graduate from accredited Kansas high schools and meet the admissions standards set forth by the University(s).

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