Archive for Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sides clash in hearing on bill that would repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students

March 20, 2013


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  • — Two vastly different opinions about undocumented immigrants were displayed Wednesday before a House committee considering a bill that would repeal in-state tuition for some undocumented students.

    Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza, talked about drug cartels filling the prison system and said he was offended when phone messages have a Spanish language option.

    "This is an English-speaking country," Rothlisberg said.

    Rothlisberg said he didn't support immigrants with children entering the country illegally. "Parents are using their children as pawns in this effort," he said.

    But students, religious leaders and educators, including the Lawrence school board, said the current state law that allows certain undocumented students to pay the less expensive in-state college tuition is helping the state and helping those students fulfill their dreams.

    "They came here because their parents brought them here," said Fred Logan, vice chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents. "They are innocent. They are great Kansans," Logan said of the students.

    Logan said 630 students, most of whom are attending community and technical colleges, benefit from the in-state tuition law.

    Currently, 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.

    House Bill 2192 heard by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee would repeal that law.

    Secretary of State Kris Kobach urged approval of the bill. "Stop using taxpayer money to subsidize an illegal workforce," he said.

    Sen. Carolyn Tyson, R-Parker, said, "How can we be just in giving benefits to those who disrespect our laws?"

    But Vanessa Sanburn, president of the Lawrence school board, said the board opposes the repeal of in-state tuition. "We must not sentence our brightest and most dedicated students to years of educational limbo as they wait in an immigration status broken beyond their control," she said.

    Georgina Hernandez, a graduate student at Wichita State University, said she came to the United States when she was 10 years old. She said she works as a housekeeper during the day and hotel clerk during the evening. "If you pass this bill, my dreams will die," she said.

    Kim Voth, a guidance counselor at Wichita East High School, said since the in-state tuition law has been in effect, she has seen undocumented students graduate college and go into numerous jobs.

    One former student, Voth said, is now a teacher and has received her U.S. citizenship. Voth said that woman told her, "My college degree changed my life. I love teaching. I love my students. I tell them you can become anything you want to be."


    tange 1 year ago

    ... and within a context of broader pressing issues, THIS is what we spend our time on. why?

    / oh, i see, it was addressed in opening comments


    Armored_One 1 year ago

    I know.

    Let's just do away with the entire out-of-state tuition requirements.

    Or, conversely, we could expect these adults, which they are if they are entering college, to act like an adult and be legal. If they are here illegally, then that is exactly what they are. The same would apply if the exact opposite was done and someone from this country snuck across the border and pulled this nonsense in Mexico.

    There is nothing wrong, or racist, about expecting people that want to be here to obey the laws. If they were speeding, would you propose forgiving the fine? If they murder someone, do we not lock their butt up in prison? If you are going to expect them to follow all of the laws you have to, then they should follow ALL the laws, not just the ones that you, personally, think are 'unfair' or 'difficult'.

    Yes, there is a ton of red tape involved with immigration. Too many people have stuck their fingers in that particular pie and now is kind of looks like the aftermath of American Pie. Scrap the old pie, bake a new one and run it efficiently. Yes, I know that is asking a lot from career politicians who want to have their names tossed out in the media, but still.

    Granted, if it were TRULY an issue, the people would elect an entire new group of people that are not entrenched, and are not bought out by any corporation with a few spare bucks. But we all know that is not going to happen. That would require EVERYONE to be involved and that is simply not going to happen. More people vote for American Idol than any given election.


    ljreader 1 year ago

    Let the "innocents" stay. We've already invested a fortune in their every need since their invasion, er arrival (through no fault of their OR our own). But make the ones who ARE at fault- the parents- return home, or no in state tuition- no nuthin.

    Since the parents brought them here" for a better life"- mission accomplished - send the parents packing back to where they came- . No sponsored citizenship for them - ever- ban them from re entry-

    Breaking families apart? No way- they will be reunited with all the kin they had no problems tearing themselves away from when they chose to abandon them in their home countries to enter this country illegally. If it's all too much, the whole family can leave together- I hear they have colleges in other countries.


    George_Braziller 1 year, 1 month ago

    If a student is 17 and mom and dad brought them here when they were four months old how are they disrespecting laws? They've lived in Kansas their entire life.

    "Sen. Carolyn Tyson, R-Parker, said, "How can we be just in giving benefits to those who disrespect our laws?""


    Gotland 1 year, 1 month ago

    Let Mexico pay for their education, they have money.


    lawslady 1 year, 1 month ago

    Anyone currently under the age of 50 who is paying into social security and hope to get some back should hope and/or pray that we get a ton more immigrants of all kinds. Otherwise, the low birth rate in America combined with simple math will show you that there will simply not be enough people paying into the SS system to create a fund large enough for you to get most (if any) of your SS payments. Do the math.


    JoCoTigr 1 year, 1 month ago

    Making undocumented Kansas resident students pay out-of-state tuition is intended to do only one thing: Deprive them of an education. Their parents are manual laborers, not executives, doctors, and lawyers who can afford to pay double the cost. When Republicans finally agree to a route to citizenship for undocumenteds rather than face the extinction of the GOP, the investment in helping these young people fulfill their dreams will pay off in spades. Reagan realized this when he granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in 1986. Although nearly everyone reading this benefitted from an affirmative action type of wide-open immigration policy of the 19th and 20th centuries, it's shocking how unwilling some Kansans still are to educate these enthusiastic, hopeful, young future parents of US citizens.


    irtnog2001 1 year, 1 month ago

    I'm not opposed as long as they do not qualify for affirmative action preferences. Do they?


    voevoda 1 year, 1 month ago

    "Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza... said he was offended when phone messages have a Spanish language option." Maybe Rep. Rothlisberg should go to a country where only English is spoken. I'm not sure where he'll find one, though. United Kingdom? They have Welsh and Scots. Ireland? The official preference is for Gaelic. Canada? French is equal to English. New Zealand? Maori. Australia? No official language there. South Africa? Polyglot.

    Maybe if Rep. Rothlisberg had the experience of mastering a foreign language, he'd be more sympathetic to persons who have to function in a foreign-language environment. He is a walking advertisement for the value of including foreign languages in the required school curriculum.

    I'm not offended by a Spanish language option. I'm offended by Rep. Rothlisberg.


    Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 1 month ago

    Take the ba out of kobach and you get a Koch!


    toe 1 year, 1 month ago

    As long as the illegals will sign a note for the taxes they did not pay, the services they use and do not pay for, and the savings of out of state tuition, I am good with in state tuition.


    texburgh 1 year, 1 month ago

    For all of you anti-illegals folks out there, why not go to the real source of the problem in Kansas - the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

    The KCC using their political clout has blocked every attempt to control illegal immigration in Kansas. Bill after bill to require companies to hire citizens, to run status checks via e-verify, or to establish penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegals have been blocked by the KCC. Why? they love cheap labor and don't want to pay the kind of wages citizens demand.

    When you drive out all those willing to take very low wage hard labor - meat packing, picking produce, hotel maids, roofers, etc. what will be the effect on you? When those jobs are filled with all legal American citizens demanding a living wage, are you prepared for what will happen when your steak goes from $15/lb to $25? Your lettuce from $1.5/head to $3.

    The fact is that your wallets benefit from their labor and lack of wage demands. Our economy is, sadly, dependent on low wage illegal immigrant labor.

    So if you don't like it, contact Mike O'Neal, president of the KCC.

    Illegal immigration is not happening because they want in-state tuition for their kids; it is happening because you want cheap food and labor. Want to end illegal immigration? Dry up the jobs that benefit from it.


    kansanbygrace 1 year, 1 month ago

    The immigration system in the US is a mess. The quotas and rules, the blatant political bigotry and favoring of a few business interests over all other interests makes immigration a nightmare of byzantine hoops that does not reflect equality nor justice. Waiting for several years when your family is here, your work is here, and you've spent your entire life as a Kansan, and being rejected as a citizen for a silly twisted abstraction is typical of the shallow and unintelligent "bossing" by shortsighted, superficial people. (Who are more than thoroughly represented in the Kansas Legislature.)

    By the way, driving without your seatbelt fastened, jaywalking, more than 3 unrelateds living together in res. neighborhoods, are illegal too. Going to retract the in-state tuition for those "illegals"?


    Cait McKnelly 1 year, 1 month ago

    I was following this on Twitter yesterday when my Twitter feed EXPLODED. Ponka We Victors took Kris Kobach head on and told him, "I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you.”
    Heck, Scott Rothschild tweeted it. Odd that he didn't put it in the article.
    I've now seen it in the Capitol Journal, Wichita Eagle and the KC Star. It's being meme'ed to hell and back and it's all over Facebook. I fully expect to see it go national today. Can't wait to see what Huffington Post, Rheality Check and Addicting Info do with it.
    When it happened yesterday, I told my husband that I thought I had just seen a potential political star go celestial.
    Nice catch, LJW. Not.


    streetman 1 year, 1 month ago

    Come here legally from Nebraska, pay the out-of-state tuition rate. Here as a result of illegal activity, pay the in-state rate. Only thing under this topic I find even more ludicrous is a couple states that give a drivers' license to illegal aliens. Bizzarro world, indeed!


    deec 1 year, 1 month ago

    Everyone against this bill should listen to this representative.


    ljreader 1 year, 1 month ago

    yeah, those ESL classes and one on one resource rooms and shuttling them back and forth from school to school on school buses during school hours saves us money. Let's not forget waived tuition and free school breakfasts and lunches. Our savings are so great that our own American kids can almost read when they graduate. Can you say dumbed down education in exchange for higher costs? We've already been shaken down for their educational (and all other) needs. Why stop a robbery in progress?


    toe 1 year, 1 month ago

    If educating illegals will drive down teacher costs, then go for it.


    reality_check79 1 year, 1 month ago

    So soldiers are losing tuition assistance and this is even a question?? Wow!!! Pathetic!!!


    ThePilgrim 1 year, 1 month ago

    Reagan did not believe the way current Repubs believe. He believed that America was the "shining light on the hill". And he believed in freedom. The current crop of Repubs, unfortunately, believes in no control on businesses, but, ironically, behavioral and thought control over individuals.


    ThePilgrim 1 year, 1 month ago

    Most of the parents have legit (if illegal) paperwork. They get jobs and driver's licenses. No one is going to give that up to "get in line". The kids, however, don't have the paperwork. And they do go to our schools. True that schools love them because they bring more funds in. BUT they also spend more funds because you have to have Spanish speaking teachers and special ed. I am FOR letting the kids have in state tuition if they graduated from a Kansas high school and have attended for several years. Otherwise we continue a sub-class of people.


    Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 1 month ago

    Most illegals who work have taxes taken out of their pay- including state taxes. So they are already paying towards the subsidy given to the universities, and now we want to charge them out of state fees on top of the subsidy they helped pay.

    Sounds like double taxation to me.

    I though tconservatives were against taxes?

    Btw there is no official language in America. Remember this country wasn't settled by just the English- but also by the Spanish. If you have a problem with companies offering Spanish language options blame free market capitalism- they are just catering to a market. Do you complain when you go to a chinese restaurant and see the menu available in catonese or mandarin? Didn't think so.


    IKU57 1 year, 1 month ago

    When Obama makes them legal, will they have to pay out of state tuition?


    Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 1 month ago

    With all the Americans out of work, how in the world could anyone boast compassion for law breakers at the expense of those who actually belong here. This is simply a money grab for who ever is catering to these illegals, whether it is those who want to secure funding by educating them or those who want to exploit them for cheap labor.


    oletimer 1 year, 1 month ago

    illegal is illegal. what part of that are you people not getting? sure the schools love them. more students to receive money for. that you and I are paying the bill for. Racism? Only if you slant it towards the fact most illegals are mexican. not racism, just cold hard fact. there is no reason in hell that these illegals would not fill out the proper paperwork and become legal. the fact they don't want to just proves they think they are above the law. and another thing. if they are here, earning American dollars, they damn sure need to speak English. America, the land of the free illegals, that we are paying the bill for. Not the way it should work.


    oldbaldguy 1 year, 1 month ago

    thought I would never say this, but this is racism, that's all it is. i use to believe these kids should not recieve in state tutition. these kids are our kids. they live in this state. i suspect most kansans do not care or agree with our legislators.


    Scut Farkus 1 year, 1 month ago

    Voth said that woman told her, "I love my students. I tell them you can become anything you want to be."... Not in Kansas!

    When are Kansans going to realize they elected a bunch of idiots to represent them?


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