Archive for Monday, February 21, 2011

Kansas House advances repeal of in-state tuition for undocumented students

February 21, 2011, 8:41 a.m. Updated February 22, 2011, 12:46 a.m.


State Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, speaks in the Kansas House on Monday in opposition to House Bill 2006, which would repeal the lower in-state tuition for some undocumented students. The measure was advanced toward a final vote on Tuesday.

State Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, speaks in the Kansas House on Monday in opposition to House Bill 2006, which would repeal the lower in-state tuition for some undocumented students. The measure was advanced toward a final vote on Tuesday.

State Reps. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, left, and Lois Ruiz, D-Kansas City, discuss a bill to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students who were brought here by their parents. Knox is a sponsor of the bill; Ruiz opposed it.

State Reps. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, left, and Lois Ruiz, D-Kansas City, discuss a bill to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students who were brought here by their parents. Knox is a sponsor of the bill; Ruiz opposed it.

— The House on Monday moved to repeal a 7-year-old law that allows students whose parents brought them to Kansas illegally to pay in-state college tuition.

The measure advanced 69-49 on a nonrecord vote. A final vote is expected today.

House members went over many of the same arguments that have been covered in recent years.

Opponents of the current law, including Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, say it is an incentive for illegal immigrants to come to Kansas. Supporters, which include education and religious representatives, say the law helps children who didn’t choose to come to the country illegally.

The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is significant. A first-time freshman who entered KU last fall paid $3,938 per semester for tuition if they were considered Kansas residents. A nonresident paid $10,340.

Under the current Kansas law, students are considered Kansas residents eligible for in-state tuition if they graduated from a Kansas high school or received a GED, have lived in the state for three years and pledge to become citizens.

The Kansas Board of Regents said 413 students enrolled under the law last fall at state universities, community colleges and technical colleges.

Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, defended the lower tuition for undocumented students, saying he sympathized with their plight.

Goico left Cuba at age 14 to avoid the regime of Fidel Castro and then spent several years in foster homes and orphanages.

“When you find yourself in these situations, you feel like baggage that nobody wants,” he said.

He then went to college, paying the higher out-of-state tuition — something he said was extremely difficult. After earning a degree, Goico joined the U.S. Air Force and retired after 32 years of service.

But Rep. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, said most Kansans want the law repealed.

“Your constituents want it,” she said.

Others argued that under federal law, Kansas had no right to grant resident status to people not here legally.

But Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said many of these young people know only Kansas as their home.

“They want to be educated. If we allow that, they will serve the state well,” she said.

Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, argued the law cost the state approximately $1 million per year, citing the difference between students paying in-state and out-of-state tuition.

But supporters of the law said that figure was based on a false assumption because most of the students wouldn’t be going to school at all unless they could pay the lower in-state tuition. The Kansas Board of Regents, which oversees higher education, supports the law as is.

And Rep. Bob Bethell, R-Alden, said it made no sense to provide taxpayer-funded kindergarten through 12th grade education for undocumented students and then deny society the benefit of their higher education, which the students would be paying.

Rep. Charles Roth, R-Salina, said, “At its basis, the core of this bill is mean-spirited, and it’s not the Kansas way.” He said by repealing the law, “we are punishing the children for the sins of their fathers.”


Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 2 months ago

A debate??? a DEBATE??? What part of "illegal" does not applly here?

More waste of time by elected officials, debating an issue already classified as "illegal?

Who elected these idiots??

deec 7 years, 2 months ago

Which companies that hire the parents of these students have you started to boycott?

local_vocal 7 years, 2 months ago

If an employee shows a SS card, then the employer files that info with the SS department to pay into the fund. As well as an ID card. If the SS administration does not recognize the # as being false, or duplicated. Then it is up to them(govt) to notify the employer that the worker is "illegal, or using a falsified SS to gain employment." the employer is also a victim for the time and money invested. The employers require that a proscpective employee provides the info required for employment, not investigate the means of obtaining the papers. If we "boycotted" companies that Knowingly & Repeatedly hire illegals, then you would make progress with your rants.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 2 months ago

Not a real question. With 10-12 million illegals already here, it's likely that major companies like Wal-Mart, Target, etc. have some products that at some time were handled by an illegal immigrant. But it's impossible to tell which is which. Companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants should be prosecuted. That said, illegal immigrants should be held accountable for their illegal actions as well. What to do with the company that hires a person with seemingly legal paperwork but that person turns out to be an illegal immigrant. Boycott a company that refused to succumb to stereotyping and accepted the word (and documentation) of an applicant? Obviously, the answer is that we need to secure our border, deport illegal immigrants and prosecute those who knowingly hire the illegals.

deec 7 years, 2 months ago

So those who oppose illegal immigrants are "sure" they are here and "sure" they are taking our jobs, but they cannot figure out which corporations are willfully hiring illegal aliens? Google. Use it. This is not an issue that requires a lot of research. If you truly believe that illegals are destroying our country, do your part. Stop supporting the businesses who hire them, and then the businesses will stop hiring them. But that would require some modicum of sacrifice on the part of those who oppose them.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 2 months ago

Wha? You mean we'd have to actually take some responsibility rather than wait for da gubment to do it for us?

Sacrifice? Why should we as Americans be required to alter our quality of life just to preserve it?

deec 7 years, 2 months ago

I know, right? Of course you would have to eliminate meat, fowl, fruit and vegetables from your diet, for starters.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 2 months ago

Are you saying all meat, fowl, fruit and vegetables are contaminated by the use of illegal workers? ALL? That's the problem, I know some strawberries are picked by illegals but when I go to the grocery store I don't know which basket is which. And neither do you. And there is no real way to find out. While my posts have consistently stated that both illegal immigrants and employers who hire them should be prosecuted in an appropriate forum, your posts consistently ignore the responsibility of the illegal immigrants. Are they not also responsible for their actions?

JayhawksandHerd 7 years, 2 months ago

Where exactly did deec say any of those things? Sure, illegal immigrants are breaking the law, and should be prosecuted as such. However, if we actually held corporations accountable and enforced minimum-wage laws, what incentives would these companies have for hiring undocumented workers in the first place? Either way, I'm not sure what this has to do with individuals brought here as minors who completed high school in the state of Kansas.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 2 months ago

DEEC said "eliminate" and I understood that to mean "all". Did you understand it differently? DEEC's first comment referenced the parents of the students and I responded to that comment. But you're correct that we've gone off on a tangent. That said, even if the child were allowed to get the in-state tuition they would still not be allowed to work without further concessions so I'm not sure it's a good investment.

Alyosha 7 years, 2 months ago

Kansas needs Ronald Reagan's perspective: "I believe in the idea of amnesty...even though sometime back they may have entered illegally."

jhawkinsf 7 years, 2 months ago

We had an amnesty a number of years ago, another now? And in twenty years another? And twenty years from then, another?

jhawkinsf 7 years, 2 months ago

I have no problem with your suggestion, as long as that's what we decide to do. I have a problem with people who circumvent the process. We Americans get to decide our immigration policy and we can adjust it in any way we choose. I would hope that would take into consideration things like jobs available, housing availability, school space, effects on our environment as we build more roads, reduce open space, energy needs, etc. I've seen the population of the U.S. almost double in size in my lifetime. I've yet to see advocates for open immigration say how many. And how do we decide who gets in and who doesn't when demand exceeds the number set.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 2 months ago

How's that working out in China, India, Bangladesh, etc. Overpopulation will not be solved by simply making more stuff. Supply and demand will equalize only when everyone everywhere has the same amount. How'd that work out in USSR. Or in Cuba where everyone is equal, equally poor. Three hundred million people in the U.S. and growing faster than I'd prefer. We've lost open space and cut down trees.
Pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, but actual Reagan was a RINO by today's standards. You're only allowed to quote fantasy Reagan.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 2 months ago

Like I said before, 413 people is hardly a tidal wave swimming (walking) across the Arkansas River to get to Kansas. And besides, given the current state of affairs in Kansas, it needs all the college graduates it can get. How about linking this to Brownback's western Kansas resettlement plan. Give them the in-state tuition in exchange for their agreement to settle out on the plains.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 2 months ago

First of all, most of those affected by this bill were brought here as minors, therefore, they did not break the law as they had neither the choice nor the ability to make the decision, and now they are here, they went through the school system and the compassionate conservatives wish to send them back to a country they have never known and punish the children for the sins of the fathers.

And for many of them, this is part of their Christian values.

I think they mis-read the Bible.

Suffer the children was NOT a commandment.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 2 months ago

How about a plea bargain? They get the in-state tuition in exchange for turning in those that did break the law, the people who brought them over the border.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

Or how about they work for citizenship and legal status as they go to college on their own dime without financial aid, since people who do all that are exactly the sort of people we want to become citizens.

Oh wait, we already have a law that lets them do that. A law that used to be in vogue with Republicans before hating brown people became the new black.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 2 months ago

They generally have worked for citizenship as much as any child in this country. They went to school, most worked and paid taxes at some point, the majority never got in trouble with the law, quite a few did volunteer work.

Again, I realize you want to punish them for the sins of their fathers, but that just makes you a jerk.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 2 months ago

If we can suddenly hold children responsible for their ancestor's actions, the Indians should be billionaires in a few short years.

Clara Westphal 7 years, 2 months ago

There is a federal law that states no non-citizen shall receive benefits that are not also given to a citizen of the United States. If illegal students qualify for in-state tuition then no out-of-state fees should be charged to anyone. Students from Missouri, Nebraska and any other state should not be charged the higher tuition.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree. If those out of state citizens graduate from an in state high school, I say we give them in state tuition rates.

Kyle Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

The illegal immigrants don't have to graduate from an instate high school. Why should the kids from Missouri, Nebraska, or anywhere else have to?

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes, they do. The law just applies the same in-state tuition criteria to all residents of Kansas, regardless of citizenship status.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

Actually, it applies a tougher standard from what I understand, because they also have to have lived in the state for three years, whereas a simple state diploma qualifies anyone else.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes they do, if thy want in-state tuition.

Kyle Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

No, they do not. They simply need to get a GED.

Shardwurm 7 years, 2 months ago

Since only the poor, the rich, and those minorities who can get scholarships can afford college now anyway...who really cares if a few illegals slip in there?

auddyup 7 years, 2 months ago

I feel sorry for these students....but if we want our country to do better, we need to refuse education at an elementary school level, maybe then parents won't stay here illegally and kids wont be displaced...unable to speak the language of their "home" country and unable to work after graduating in America. Low tuition in college doesn't get them a job as an illegal after.

MrClean 7 years, 2 months ago

Why do we even debate this. A citizen pays out of state tuition, but we are debating to allow illegals to pay in state tuition if the "pledge" to become citizens. Come on, we can't even convince them to get state issued ID cards, drivers' licenses and proof of insurance. If they want to attend college here, citizenship comes first; then the benefits shall follow. We have become a nation corrupted by political correctness, living under fear of offending others. You know who will end up paying for this...! What happened to my America!!

jaketh 7 years, 2 months ago

STOP making immigrants or migrants scape goats. Either go get a job and do the dirty manual labor yourself. If you can't do it or don't want to do it, deal with it. There is no way you can deport 11 million people. Our economy will crash! You can't have your cake & eat it too. Don't be a hypocrite. They grow your food, cut your meat, cook your food, wash your dishes, baby sit your children, build your roads & homes, clean your house/hotel room, work your factories. We all enjoy the fruits of cheap migrant labor. If anyone here says otherwise, you are in self-denial. During economic duress, it is easy to make immigrants and/or migrants targets for our own insecurities. It was same anti-immigrant sentiments 100 years ago against the Irish & Italians. These migrants, at least they WORK. Stop complaining and whining. Roll up your sleeves and go work 2-3 jobs to support your family instead of waiting for hand outs. Blame yourselves for not working. There are plenty of jobs but will you do it or is it well below you?

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