Archive for Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Statehouse Live: Bill to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students introduced in committee

January 29, 2013


— The annual battle in the Kansas Legislature over in-state tuition for some undocumented students started Tuesday.

State Rep. Brett Hildabrand, R-Merriam, introduced a bill in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee that would repeal the state law that allows students whose parents brought them to Kansas illegally to pay the lower cost in-state college tuition.

Hildabrand said many of his constituents have told him they don't like the current law because it "rewards" those who don't abide by the rule of law.

Federal and State Affairs Committee Chairman Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, said he hasn't set a date yet on a hearing for the bill.

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.

Approximately 600 students are benefiting from the law at state universities, community colleges and technical colleges, according to the Kansas Board of Regents.

The law has been on the books since 2004. Numerous unsuccessful attempts to repeal it have been made.

The difference between paying in-state and out-of-state tuition is significant. A first-time freshman who entered Kansas University last fall paid $8,790 per year for tuition if he or she was considered a Kansas resident. A nonresident paid $21,750.

In the past, undocumented students have said they would have been unable to attend college by paying the out-of-state tuition.

The Kansas Board of Regents has said it supports the current law and will oppose attempts to repeal.

In a recent interview, Regents Vice Chairman Fred Logan Jr. defended the law.

"It's also important for our economy because those students are going to have better training, better education, and they are going to be really great productive citizens here in Kansas," he said.


Thinking_Out_Loud 3 years ago

Repealing this law would be a mistake. Making post-secondary education available can help undocumented students raise themselves out of poverty. Reducing poverty is a good thing. Repealing the law does not send undocumented students home; instead, it forces them into accepting low-level, low-paying, low-potential employment that perpetuates the cycle they are in. This is one of the few far-sighted laws that makes for a lousy sound-bite, but is a very good public policy.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

The better answer is to send those law breakers back to where ever they came from. Why do we continue to reward some who break the law while all the time screwing those who obey them?

Greg Cooper 3 years ago

You mean, like the employers who keep them here? I agree, punish to the full extent of the law.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

So, a kid who was brought here as a toddler, who speaks only English, and only has a small knowledge of Spanish should be sent back? I hope your father was a law abiding citizen. if he wasn't I think we should throw you in prison for any crime he committed.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years ago

"Yes to jailing the children of law breaking fathers." Congratulations on winning the most hatefully ridiculous comment award. Do you really want to pay to incarcerate kids, instead of educating them. It costs more, you know.

There is a vacancy in your attack attic, toetoe.

avarom 3 years ago

Un-educated- un-documented workers.... just allows them to cling to Welfare System...... which everyone complains why not educate them to be productive, english paying members of society.......the better the education, the larger their contribution and its sounds like the Obuma is leaning toward declaring amnesty anyway..... and we have Nothing to Vote or Say about It!I It's pretty much a done deal......Betcha!!!

Linda and Bill Houghton 3 years ago

This is just the reason that they come illegally. Most of them cannot afford the time and money to jump through hoops for years. If the US had a more rational immigration policy they wouldn't need to come here illegally. They are not coming here to become criminals, but to better themselves. The immigration policy that we have is, itself, almost criminal.

JackMcKee 3 years ago

Good thing these guys and gals are tackling all these incredibly pressing issues.

Tracy Rogers 3 years ago

Exactly. Something that affects a whopping 600 people should take top priority over something stupid like say our state budget. Here's betting they go past the 90 days again.

Clara Westphal 3 years ago

I want them to go home to whatever country they came from. They are cowards. They could take a stand in their own country to make it better. Or they could wait in line like others who are obeying our laws and going through the legal process of becoming a citizen.

jesse499 3 years ago

Just keep giving them everything for breaking the law they already get more then the people that are born here now.

Clara Westphal 3 years ago

If Kansas continues to let illegal students attend for in-state tuition then other out-of-state students who are citizens should be able to pay in-state tuition as well.

There is a federal law that states no foreigner shall be given privileges that are not also given to citizens of the country. Just like other laws, it is not enforced.

chootspa 3 years ago

Absolutely. Any out of state student who graduates from an in-state high school and lives in the state for three years should pay in-state tuition rates, too.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

Any student who graduates from an in-state high school does pay in state tuition. Oh wait, should I turn on my sarcasm meter?

Lynn Grant 3 years ago

Just when the federal government is beginning to tackle immigration issues in a positive way, Kansas is again considering a backwards step. Better to allow these 600 a chance to improve their chances for education and legal employment Cheaper to do that than pay to house them in jail or keep them unemployed. It is not as though it doesn't come with strings attached. Why punish the kids for their family's mistakes? The students in this program work hard and will positively influence others in their situation. It just amazes me that this administration and its bought and paid members in the legislature can only bring up old bills(strip clubs) that have been rejected. Guess it is true that nothing ever really dies in the statehouse, certainly nothing that is detrimental to the growth of Kansas.

jesse499 3 years ago

What's so positive about giving citizenship to people who break our laws instead of coming here and doing it the right way.Which only says to others come on over they won't do anything.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

This law affects children who were brought here by their parents. Punish their parents, not the children.

Greg Cooper 3 years ago

So, punish the innocent as well as the guilty?

And, too, what do you advocate about the employers who make it possible for the parents to stay?

The kids didn't do a damn thing wrong, except be born to parents who want a better life for their kids. Got a problem with that?

jesse499 3 years ago

If a US citizen is in Mexico illegally don't get caught it's not pretty.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

If a US citizen is in Mexico illegally, it's probably only to buy drugs. After all the US junkie habit keeps those drug cartels in business.

SnakeFist 3 years ago

What's your point? That Mexico's policy should dictate ours? The fact that Mexico doesn't do the right thing is no reason for us to act immorally and punish children for the "crime" of their parents (not that seeking a better life should be characterized as a crime).

jesse499 3 years ago

The point is they came Illegally we have had millions come to this country legally over the years with no problem learned our language and so on why can't they do the same just obey the law and not cut corners that's all we ask.I get tired of helping everyone under the sun and having them call us names and so on because we don't give them more we don't take care of our own people in this country because we're taking care of everyone else.

Bradley Kemp 3 years ago

When will you learn our language? Punctuation. It's available to everyone.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

If the parents had stayed in Mexico, and been able to feed their family and send the kids to a decent school, they would have gone to university for almost free, probably a year of free service. Now they get to pay thousand of dollars. The problem is if their family had stayed in Mexico, they would have starved to death.

Brock Masters 3 years ago

Didn't realize Mexicans are starving to death. Any stats?

seriouscat 3 years ago

To all the people who are saying go home and stop taking jobs and free stuff...just so you know...since the LJworld had yet to report on this and no one is reading the above link:

"Details are expected to emerge this week about a bill establishing the outline of a state-managed worker program, in cooperation with the federal government, linking sponsor companies with illegal immigrants who have been in Kansas a minimum of five years."

"A likely candidate would be a person who entered Kansas on a visa that expired years ago"

Your republican legislature is hard at work for YOU! *comment sponsored by Cargill corporation

Leslie Swearingen 3 years ago

I do not think that many can understand the conditions of those living in Mexico who, driven by desperation, came to this country on a wing and a prayer.

I have only goodwill and friendship for our brothers and sisters from our southern border. Those who take higher education for granted will never know the pride that comes from having a child being the first in the family to get a college diploma.

The self discipline that comes from getting a degree tells potential employers that you can stick with something and see it though to the end. If they have lived here for three years they are indeed citizens of Kansas, regardless of their parents citizenship, and should be able to get in state tuition. I applaud these students and their families and wish them well.

Do you know why you don't have to put a lid on a pail of crawdads when you are using them for fish bait? Because if one is near the top and about to get out, one of the others will reach up and pull it back down.

patkindle 3 years ago

this appears to be coming from the repubicans, evidently they finially figured out the number of illegal aliens didnt vote for any of them

Nikonman 3 years ago

So if you are an American citizen from anywhere in the US, you pay almost 2 1/2 times as much as someone from another country. That's just not right. And I don't care how they got here.

MyName 3 years ago

Nooo if your not a Kansas resident you pay more than if you are one to go to a Kansas school. The kid graduated from a Kansas HS so they've obviously been living here long enough to establish residency. The rest is up to INS to hash out, but if they then use their status as a student to stay in the country legally, they're not even breaking any laws at that point.

So they're a resident who graduated from a KS high school and who is paying taxes and they shouldn't be allowed to go to school at some point because of something their parents did? Because you don't like them since they don't vote Republican since they're not a citizen??

Bruce Bertsch 3 years ago

The citizens of Kansas (Brownbackistan) have already funded the k-12 education of these students. They are not eligible for any financial aid, they must pay their own way. Since they are defacto residents, why shouldn't they pay in state tuition? Who dies this hurt? The short answer is no one.

mom_of_three 3 years ago

Who said anything about these immigrant kids or their families living of Kansans? These kids graduated from a kansas high school OR earned their GED. They came here by no fault of their own. And I bet the kid from Missouri could go to his own state school just as cheap. A non Missouri resident who goes to Misouri pays $35,464.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Wait a minute, there, mom. Are you suggesting that a 4.0 gpa AMERICAN kid who happens to live on the Kansas side of State Line Road but for some unfathomable reason desires to attend MU has to pay $35,464? Wow, someone ought to call the fairness police. How dare any state allow people who graduated from that state's high schools to pay less for their state universities than people who haven't already been a part of that state's educational system.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years ago

It is totally fair since a state line does determine where the border is. You are a resident of Kansas if you are ten feet from the state line and that is how fees are determined. Nothing unfair about it. And, I am very leery about AMERICAN, let's just go with American, shall we? GPA has nothing to do with citizenship.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Yeah, I was being sarcastic and mocking cheeseburger's usage to make a point. Guess I failed.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Mockery is a perfectly valid rhetorical device. I'm not going to alter my argument style because you don't like it. People who reside in Kansas and graduate from Kansas high schools have always paid less to attend state universities than residents of other states. I fail to see the unfairness.

webmocker 3 years ago

There is a reciprocity agreement that significantly reduces the cost to a Missouri resident in many cases.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

News reports today puts illegals at 47% who recieve some type of welfare, whether it is food stamps or some other kind of assistance. They do not have to pay taxes to get this assistance. This is pure BS. Send them all back, make those Americans on welfare or unemployment take those jobs.

oldexbeat 3 years ago

no thanks, re 'mericans on welfare. The crime rate of the kids from the white meth smoking crack heads families is bad. Rather have the hard workers making it the old work and progress way that was truly American when your family came. They pay taxes. They don't get back refunds. Companies keep the money often. And I question your source. List it. That figure no doubt includes school lunches. Fox? No doubt.

Cody Ochs 3 years ago

Why is the number always 47%? Where are the [non-partisan] links showing the data to back this number up? Also, sales tax is a tax. I doubt that these people are able to avoid paying sales taxes.

Shelley Bock 3 years ago

Can't, which news reports did you find the 47% figure mentioned? It would be nice for you to share your sources.

Armstrong 3 years ago

Well the left has perverted the "fairness factor" on this subject too it seems.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years ago

Should we arrest you for your above comment?

toe - "Yes to jailing the children of law breaking fathers." That sounds quite abusive!

oldexbeat 3 years ago

Sure glad we're clearly not a Christain based state. The raw hate and totally racist outlook on these kids -- children -- that bring millions and millions of dollars to our state schools -- 600 times $9,000 times four years, etc., plus food, housing, and spending at school -- guess that money just isn't needed by the state of Brownbackistan (nee, Kansas). Oh, this isn't about money ? Huh ?

Oh, and that they then are even more productive after school might help our state, too.

For those that came after 1776 to my country, I would like to see some papers ? You know, when did your relatives come over free ? If it was after the Constitution, you might have to go back. Really. Same thing.

Brock Masters 3 years ago

Older - educate yourself. If you're born here you're an American. So it is foolish of you to ask for people's papers because you question whether their ancestors were legal or not.

These kids were not born here hence they are illegal.

Larry Sturm 3 years ago

I hope all of your ancestors had all of their legal work and citizenship papers in order or you might have to go back and pay back tuition plus interest.

Armstrong 3 years ago

UNDOCUMENTED a.k.a. ILLEGAL. What part of that is hard to understand ?

MyName 3 years ago

How can a person be illegal? They may be living here illegally, but they're not an illegal person. In any case, their parents brought them over, so up until they're 18 their parents are the responsible party.

After they turn 18, they can fill out their own paperwork to stay in the country legally, which works just fine as they have visas for students to come study here. So the question is, are they a resident of the state of Kansas for tuition purposes? Well their parents paid taxes and they've lived in Kansas long enough to go through high school, so that would seem to be a yes. The law as it is makes more sense than rewriting it to punish some kids for the failings of their parents and INS.

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