Archive for Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tuition battle brewing

Law that let some illegal immigrants get in-state rates faces another fierce attack

September 2, 2007


In-state tuition

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius talks about in-state tuition for the children of some illegal immigrants.

— Expect another knockdown, drag-out fight in the next legislative session over in-state tuition for some illegal immigrant students.

Only this time, the debate will be super-charged as it will occur before the entire state House and Senate face the voters in 2008.

In a recent talk to Republicans, House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, said the GOP House leadership would push a sweeping bill related to immigrants, which would include repeal of the in-state tuition provision.

"It's the most ludicrous idea that anybody ever came up with," Neufeld said of the 2004 law.

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.

Last fall, 169 students enrolled under the provision, according to the Kansas Board of Regents.

Of those, 29 were enrolled in public universities, including eight at Kansas University, 130 at community colleges and 10 at technical schools and colleges.

But since its passage, the law has been under attack from legislators who say it creates an incentive for immigrants to come to Kansas illegally.

Supporters of the law, however, say many of the students benefiting from it have lived in the state almost all their lives after having been brought here by their parents.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who signed the measure into law, defends it as good for the economy.

"We need the best-trained work force in the world, and kids who are in this state and graduated from Kansas schools we want to encourage to go to college," Sebelius said.

There have been numerous attempts in the House to repeal the law, but none has passed.

Sebelius said some are trying to exploit the issue for political reasons.

"Unfortunately, it is less about the policy and the money - because there are relatively a small number of students - and more about trying to drive a wedge, trying to make this issue barring some Kansas students from higher education in order to get a political gain, and I think that is terribly unfortunate," she said.

Sheri Steisel, a policy analyst on immigration issues with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Kansas is typical of states wrestling with immigration issues.

Absent a consistent federal policy on illegal immigration, the states have stepped into the breach, crafting legislation specifically for their perceived needs, she said.

"The legislative activity has been extraordinary," she said.

State legislatures introduced 1,404 measures on immigrants and immigration this year, about 2 1/2 times more than last year, according to a conference report.

Ten states, including Kansas, have in-state tuition laws.

"States are identifying similar issues but coming up with different policy solutions. Absent a national solution, states are doing what they feel is representing their constituents," she said.


ASBESTOS 10 years, 9 months ago

It is alreadyillegal by existing Federal Law. This pre-existing law also makes the "Dream Act" recently passed in the US House illegal as well. Additionally it is discriminatory in nature. If checking "legal status" for employment is going to discriminate in the eyes of illegal alien supporters because the majority of illegal aliens are from many points south of the border, why would this not be "discriminatory" as well? This law is to gibe one sector "protected status" on a basis of being in the country illegally, and that as the pro illegal alien supporters state would be disproportiantely hispanic/latino. That would be a "race based" initiative for providing tuition to illegal aliens at the in state cost. That discriminates against ALL other races in FAVOR OF HISPANICS.

MY POINT is this, it is EITHER ALWAYS RACIST, or it IS NOT RACIST. That goes for legal status and in state tuition. You can't have it both ways. ANd at the heart of the matter is ILGAL STATUS and GRANTING SPECIAL RIGHTS and BENEFITS, so it is comapring aples to apples.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 9 months ago

""Unfortunately, it is less about the policy and the money - because there are relatively a small number of students - and more about trying to drive a wedge, trying to make this issue barring some Kansas students from higher education in order to get a political gain, and I think that is terribly unfortunate," she said."

Then there is no need to waste the time and money to grant this special right based on race and illegal alien status. We have much larger things to deal with and this one should not be addressed on these 3 simple facts alone:

  1. There is not many and it will not have a major effect on the state of Kansas
  2. These people are here illegally and are breaking the law every day they are here
  3. We would have to grant in-state tuition to out of state students in order not to make this practice discriminatory and provide equality for all.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 9 months ago

It is apparently completely legal to discriminate against US Citizens in difference to illegal aliens. The out of state students took legal action agains the state and dourt found they did not have a "concrete and imminent" damage. So the difference betweeen what "rich" American Citizens pay is OK, because they are Citizens, but illegal aliens for some reason do have a "concrete and imminent" damage.

I would submitt to you and fair thinking people that discrimination based on State of Residence or Citizenship vs. lack of legal status IS a "concrete and imminent" damage and the difference in tuition costs of thousands of dollars IS a "concrete and imminent" damage.

Do you start to see how illegal aliens and illegal immigration effects the whole of our society and erodes all of our laws and confirmations? AM I the only one that sees this?

I would think the student population would rise up at the injustice of their fellow citizens. Hell they do it in other countries to fight for their own citizen rights.

monkeyhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

"Do you start to see how illegal aliens and illegal immigration effects the whole of our society and erodes all of our laws and confirmations? AM I the only one that sees this?"

No, you are not the only one..........

Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

Sebelius made this a political issue when she pushed this through. Without her initial political/pandering move, we would not even be having this duscussion.

Martin_D_15 10 years, 9 months ago

now mexican trucks will be driving on Kansas roads, and they will be full of more and more illegals.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 9 months ago

This story should put a cold shiver through your spine. It is from the WIchita Eagle and talks about the wonderful increase of "hispanic immigrants" into Liberal. They are now the majority of the town and most are illegal and employed by the National Beef Packing Company. They are coming here to Kansas because the other states are tightening up on their employment within their state because of costs to schools, hospitals, and etc that all illegal immigration causes. The crime is No. 2 in the state and represents the increase in ilelgal alien immigration into the area. Jusat read the article, this is what is in store for Kansas as the illegals run away from other tightening of laws. NOW Liberal and Kansas is STARTING to get a taste of what New Mexico, Arizona, Georgia, Lousiana, Mississipps, North and South Carolina and Texas have been dealing with.

You are now getting a better look at what the "front line looks like in this WAR against AMERICA!


Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

Janet Marguia, the leader of LaRaza, was hired by Hemenway for a "special position" at KU, paying her over $200K per year, after the 2000 election. She had been working on Gore's campaign; before that she worked in the Clinton administration. Providing this transition position must have been payback by Hemenway for something the Clinton administration did to help him or KU. Murguia can claim this divisive, and useless, piece of legislation as her gift to the citizens of Kansas.

mick 10 years, 9 months ago

I was driving through Liberal, Ks and saw a huge sign which was a Mexican flag with the words, "Tierra Nuestra", Our Land.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 9 months ago

Mexican Trucks that are not placarded will aslo be able to avoid the "Hazardous Cargo Routes" as well even if they are carrying hazardous Cargo. This what happens when a country gives up its soveriengty and allows other countries to let their citizens dictate political process.

The Citizens are left at the mercy of politicians that are only looking to the next election.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 9 months ago

"Oh my! that is frightening. They are all safe drivers I assume, but obviously, we need to extend the legal limit for a trucker's hours on the road to 20 hours/day - the more hours the safer it is."

Max1 they are sitting down so how exhausting can it be ! If the truckers can "man up" and drive 20 hours, I do not see why the pilots cannot "man up" and do the same !

RiverCityConservative 10 years, 9 months ago

We are lucky to have now several generations of documented and some more recently arrived undocumented immigrants from Mexico here in Kansas. They add to the state in many ways, with an excellent work ethic that reminds us of what makes this state great; strong religious values, which keep us connected to the similar values that inspired so many of our ancestors to come to America and succeed; and it makes perfect sense that we would want to encourage all young people in our state--of any ethnicity and any culture--to attend our institutions of higher learning and add their ideas to the search for innovative strategies to keep this state developing, growing, and thriving. Most of the statements on this blog that I have read today against the tuition law that our brave politicians passed in 2004 are statements deeply mired in racist ideology. You cannot be a true progressive without embracing progressive beliefs about the value of multicultural and multilingual communities in America.

Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

"You cannot be a true progressive without embracing progressive beliefs about the value of multicultural and multilingual communities in America."

You cannot be a true American without respecting the rule of law.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago

"You cannot be a true American without respecting the rule of law"

So true. And Bush and his cronies, not to mention his supporters, could start doing that any time and it would be just fine with me.

Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

I expected such a response, and, of course, coneflower was the first suspect. Off topic.

The non-criminal element of the US society do their best to follow the laws, register to vote, register vehicles, as required, license said vehicles, and said occupations, as necessary, use the courts, petition local government for redress, and pay taxes.

That is what we expect of new immigrants: that they enter legally, that they obey the laws, that they respect the US constitution and the laws of local governments, and that they assimilate, as opposed to establishing, or transplanting, a completely different view of law and governance.

Those who have crossed the border without respecting the process, and who then use imtimidation to pressue government entities to grant them benefits they have not earned, subvert the democratic process and do not deserve the respect of other bona fide US citizens, They have no claim to "rights" that they fabricate upon whim.

fletch 10 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, those 8 year olds should have done a better job stopping their parents from moving here a decade ago. If only they had done a better job explaining immigration law, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

fletch, where I come from, the parents of the 8 year olds are responsible for what has happened to their kids and their family. They were very aware that they entered the USA illegally. The parents should answer to the children for putting them in this situation.

RiverCityConservative 10 years, 9 months ago

Immigrants - both documented and undocumented - give each generation a renewed sense of the true meaning of democracy and freedom. We should thank them for making their courageous journeys, instead of vilifying them.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric often seems to be focused on questions of legality, while hiding bald racism at its core. Years ago, the atrocities suffered, in turn, by Irish, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese immigrants may have been covered over with the language of patriotism and security.

But we know today such discrimination was based on our own ignorance, and fear of people who look and speak differently from us. That is what makes the xenophobic nature of the current LJworld debate over immigration so very disappointing: it suggests that hatred and prejudice are stronger forces in Lawrence than love and tolerance. Whether you are Buddhist, Christian, Islamic or agnostic, it's disturbing to recognize the true threat to our state lies in our hearts, not at our borders.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 9 months ago

"Anti-immigrant rhetoric often seems to be focused on questions of legality, while hiding bald racism at its core."

THAT is what we are doing anc criticizing, the ILLEGAL immigrants!

DUH! IT is morons like YOU that keep lumping ILLEGAL immigrants (aliens) in with LEGAL IMMIGRANTS that do it the LEGAL WAY. I TOTALLY SUPPORT LEGAL IMMIGRATION! I think ilelgal aliens need to be given a rough time so they will go away and not come back!

If you haven't noticed it is LA RAZA that is making this racial, and it is not it is a discussion about LEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS. La Raza makes us out to be white supremecists even though we AMERICANS opposing ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION and SUPPORT CLOSING DOWN THE BORDER and REPELLING ALL INVADERS represent ALL AMERICANS regardless OF RACE!!!

RiverCityConservative 10 years, 9 months ago

Collier and Thomas (2001) reported on a longitudinal study (covering 5 years) that showed the lowest academic performance at secondary school level was among students whose Spanish-speaking parents fell for the English-only rhetoric and kept them out of ESL and bilingual education options when they were in elementary school. The highest performing students (and lowest numbers of dropouts) were those who received "dual immersion" (grade-level content in English and also in Spanish) during their elementary years. And it is also important to note that resources expended to provide multilingual and multicultural education benefit all students, not just those coming from a non-English home language background. The problem with the Bozeman's comments is that they do not reflect the reality of how a second language is learned and instead perpetuate the myth that "sink or swim" immersion is effective in the long-term. Damico and Hamayan (1991) reported research showing that if a child's development in their first language is interrupted or ended, this sets cognitive ceilings which limit how far they can develop in a second language, in this case English. It is crucial to recognize research that demonstrates the value of cultivating heritage language ability, and even more so if the target is to perform at an advanced level in English eventually. But it does go against a strongly nativist history in the United States, and the easier answers--like English-only or melting pot--are very appealing (obvious from the tenor of comments in this LJworld thread the past several days).

RiverCityConservative 10 years, 9 months ago

Good important post Max1.

A much better idea than rescinding the college tuition law would be for the Kansas legislature to require that all public schools teach students at least one other language in addition to English, and to provide incentives for new businesses which incorporate multilingual outreach in their strategic goals. Instead of joining the short list of jingoistic, nativistic states where fear of different languages and cultures has been fomented, Kansas ought to be progressive and stake out positions of advantage in the global economy by preparing our students, residents, and citizens for success in a multicultural society.

I hope these comments help and are taken in the positive spirit in which they are intended. Why do our state legislators like Neufield do so much rhetorical preening instead of respecting Kansans and really doing some valuable work on our behalf?

mick 10 years, 9 months ago

The Kansas legislature will clamp down on illegals unless the Kansas Chamber of Commerce has their way. Greed is a despicable thing.

RiverCityConservative 10 years, 9 months ago

I appreciate Agnostik's rant. He or she has expressed better than I could have done how deeply felt is the animosity towards Mexican immigrants by those who would have us believe their only concern is "the law." Fortunately, although individuals such as Agnostik are well organized and fairly outspoken, there is a legal process already in effect that has demonstrated the constitutionality of the Kansas tuition law, most recently just last week when yet another lame effort in the courts failed to repeal the law. The fact of the matter is that the majority of Kansans remember that they themselves were welcomed to the state only a few generations ago, and are more than willing to extend the same welcome to new arrivals who come ready to work and contribute energy and ideas constructively. I would not be surprised to learn that Agnostik is from out of state--those are the rabblerousers who tried to influence our legislators when the tuition law was being debated and passed in 2004. History is leaving those xenophobic groups behind and they can stew in the hatred they spew. Long live Kansas! Land of the free and home of the brave. Welcome newcomers! Roll up your sleeves and join us in rebuilding this great state to new levels of success for all.

packrat 10 years, 9 months ago

People here illegally should not be allowed to attend any of our schools.

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