Archive for Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Statehouse Live: Panel vote maintains law allowing in-state tuition for some undocumented students

March 16, 2011



You Don't Speak for Me video

— A Senate committee Wednesday rejected a bill that would repeal a law allowing in-state tuition for some undocumented students.

The Federal and State Affairs panel voted against recommending the passage of House Bill 2006 after hearing emotional testimony from several people who were brought to the United States as children.

They later graduated from Kansas high schools and then attended state institutions of higher education.

Alaide Vilchis, a Kansas University graduate, was one of those. After the vote, she said she was happy the committee considered the testimony of those who benefited from the law.

"I'm glad that other undocumented students will have an opportunity to be a Jayhawk," she said.

Vilchis said opponents of the repeal bill will have to remain vigilant because the measure could re-emerge as an amendment to another bill at some point during the legislative session.

Under current Kansas law, students are considered Kansas residents eligible for the lower 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.

House Bill 2006 would repeal that law.

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.

The repeal bill was passed last month in the House.

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

Supporters of the current law say it provides an opportunity for students who aren’t citizens but whose parents brought them as children to Kansas. But the law’s opponents say it provides an incentive for illegal immigrants. There have been many attempts to repeal the law since it was first passed in 2004.

While the repeal bill is backed mostly by Republicans in the Legislature, Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, has signaled he is not interested in repealing the current law.

Earlier Wednesday, Kansas students and graduates released a video in which they spoke in favor of the current law, saying it is just and fair.

"Access to education is a basic human right," Kansas University student Ben Gerrard said on the video.

The students have also gathered more than 250 signatures on an online petition to defeat HB 2006.


autie 3 years, 1 month ago

Capt. Kangaroo, it is all part of the vast invasion conspiracy. They have already taken Texas. They chose to skip Oklahoma because there is nothing there. Now they are working on Kansas. All these kids are "sleepers" to be awakened at some point when it is time to storm the ramparts. In the meanwhile they will cut your meat, mow your grass and roof your house.


Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 1 month ago

When will these lawmakers realize that people are flocking to Kansas from Mexico with their young children so that 10 years from now they can pay the in-state tuition rate?

Sheesh, are they blind to the real problem here?


bobberboy 3 years, 1 month ago

you can get it if you're one of brownbacks buddies.


Paul R Getto 3 years, 1 month ago

jhawkinsf: Good points and a rational comment. The issue is more complex than most of the ideologues on either side let on. Here's a little light reading. ==== It’s easy to say, "kick them all out" or "build a friggin' wall." George Will once had a piece on the “send them all home” problem. He noted if you lined up buses, the nose of the first one would be on the Mexican border and the last would be near the Canadian border. Now, as he said, all we have to do is get the 12 million to get on the buses and start driving south. The overall economic impact seems to be positive for the country, despite the fact that some undocumented immigrants soak up some social services and, like citizens without insurance, head to the emergency rooms and add to the bills of those who already have coverage. Crops are rotting in the fields and food prices are rising, in part due to lack of workers. Since Americans don't seem to be lining up to take these jobs, we may have an issue there. I am open to suggestions, but those who want to do something drastic never come up with a way to pay for it in increased taxes or suggest a program to eliminate that will pay the costs of the round up and deportation. It's hard, hard I tell ya, to figure all this out, as GWB once said about the presidency.


jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

As a society, which would you rather have, a person that steals a million dollars or a million people who steal a dollar each. Obviously, stealing is wrong. The theft of a million dollars violates our values of fairness and greed. The theft of a dollar by a million individuals may be seen as a small concern in the wider concerns of the world. But theft is theft. The person who steals a million dollars should be put in jail, no doubt about it. But what is an appropriate consequence for the million who steal a dollar. All consequences are counter-productive because they will cost more money to implement. But the problem remains, we now have a million thieves with no guarantee that their theft will be limited to the dollar already taken. So in a sense, it's worse for society to have a million people stealing a dollar because the one person who stole a million can be removed from society where he will no longer be a threat.
The bankers on Wall Street who stole billions should be placed in jail. The illegal immigrant that steals our resources should not be allowed to avoid consequences because we have no guarantee that their thievery will be limited to the simple act of having come here illegally.


Paul R Getto 3 years, 1 month ago

It appears the bill just died in the house committee.
Fred: A good point, but I could ask the same thing about the Wall Street Group, Haliburton, Blackwater, etc. Lots of people get 'a break' in life, no? Those I mention here cost us a lot more than a few kids trying to better themselves.


Brock Masters 3 years, 1 month ago

Those that support providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants just causes me to shake my head in wonderment. Why do we want to reward illegal activity?

Another question comes to mind - why are we allowing childen who are not here legally attend grade and high school? Stop the children from entering grade school and we won't need to consider whether we need to provide in-state tuition to them.

And how about this - if the parents are responsible for making the children participate in illegal activity lets treat them like any other parent who makes their kids participate in a crime. Severe the parentel rights and deport the parents.


Paul R Getto 3 years, 1 month ago

"But the law’s opponents say it provides an incentive for illegal immigrants." === Absurd. I'm sure the average immigrant desperate to feed the family is thinking. "By golly, if I sneak in, find a job and somehow make it, in 20 years or so my kid will be able to go to KU and pay in-state tuition if he stays out of trouble, graduates from high school and wants to improve his life. Nonsense. At least they can use this bible quote to justify their silliness.

"Deut. 5:9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..."


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