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Should undocumented students who were brought to Kansas by their parents receive in-state tuition?

Asked at Dillons, 1740 Massachusetts St. on January 29, 2013

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Photo of  Jesse Kaufman

“Yeah, I think because they are going to be staying here and contributing to our economy, it seems like a good idea.”

Photo of Ramon McAnderson

“ Yes, because, no fault of their own, they were brought here, and they want to make a living. This is America, the land of opportunity, so why should we hold them back?”

Photo of Becky Wilkes

“ No, I don’t think they should receive in-state tuition. I worked for the SRS for four years, and I saw the way laws are right now. Undocumented workers are getting a lot of benefits from the state. They are not paying benefits. That needs to be balanced out.”

Photo of Megan Stice

“ If they are not born here, I don’t think so. If they were born here and their parents weren’t, then yes.”

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Comments

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 2 months ago

If the undocumented person is here illegally, why are they even allowed in the State of Kansas? Shouldn't they be removed and sent back where they came from? I think they should. They should come here legally if they want to be part of society in Kansas.

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grandpaD 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree with hitme. Illegal means they are not citizens of the U.S. or the state or the county. If they are here illegally they can"t vote or serve in a government position. Why should they get in- state tuition? Apply for citizenship like everyone before them that has immigrated to this country.

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hitme 1 year, 2 months ago

They aren't residents of this country, why would they be residents of the state?

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Pywacket 1 year, 2 months ago

Should they receive in-state tuition? I guess if they are running a private college and admitting state residents....

Should they PAY in-state tuition? Now, that's another question entirely.

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Tab 1 year, 2 months ago

geekin_topekan.......My argument is relevant because my son had been born and lived in Kansas for 10 years and then moved back to Kansas to go to KU after high school graduation. Granted, I did not expect him to get in state tuition for the first couple of years since he didn't graduate from a Kansas high school. What bothers me is that we are in the US legally and my entire family has lived in the Lawrence KS area for generations. Why should a legal citizen with major ties to the state have to pay out of state tuition but illegal immigrants get in state tuition?

I assume that you are Native American since you are a member of a recognized tribe. If that is true, I am very glad that you got a "break" on tuition. Being Native American is much different that being an illegal immigrant. This was your land that was taken from you, you are the original American and you are legal. You deserve more than you get.

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geekin_topekan 1 year, 2 months ago

Tab, your son will pay out-of-state regardless. How is your argument relevant?

Here's something that'll get your juices flowing-- I paid in-state even though I never attended a Kansas primary or secondary, neither of my parents had set foot in this state nor has any member of my family attended a Kansas school. Wanna know why? I'm an enrolled member of a recognized tribe!

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ReturnOfLogicsound 1 year, 2 months ago

The rule for getting in-state tuition is being able to prove permanent, continuous residence in Kansas for at least three years immediately prior to the year the student would begin school.

In other words, if you live here for three years, then move away for eight, you have to RE-establish your eligibility for in-state tuition by living here three years before going to school.

The reason the law is written this way is because in-state tuition is not intended as a reward or benefit for native-born Kansans. It's intended as a way to give back to the people that live within the state and therefore spend some of their tax money supporting the Board of Regents, and by proxy, the state schools. It has nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing, to do with where one is born.

And it's that very reason that this should have nothing to do with a family's immigration status. If they are living in Kansas, paying property, sales and income taxes, then they have every right to expect in-state tuition. Because they will have been helping pay into the system that supports the state schools.

Part of the problem here is that this question asks about a standard of inclusion that doesn't even exist for natural-born U.S. citizens. But hey, THEM ILLEGALS ARE RUINING 'MURRICA, so we best stop them from getting an education. Nevermind the fact that allowing them to pay in-state tuition probably means an extra enrolled student and therefore source of revenue for the university.

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Tab 1 year, 2 months ago

frankie8...they have an education with student loans..... that's how most Americans get an education

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Tab 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree with profound....and this issue makes my blood boil. My son was born and raised in Lawrence until he was 10 years old. At that time, we moved to another state. When my son graduated high school, he immediately moved back to Lawrence to go to KU. He moved in with my sister. He applied for in state tuition year after year, only to be denied. We continuously provided evidence of several generations that were born, raised and died....in Kansas, Lawrence at that. He was a genuine "Kansan" all the way.
NO, the offspring of illegal immigrants should NOT be granted in state tuition. If they want to be citizens of the US, then do as the people in the US have to do.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 2 months ago

“ If they are not born here, I don’t think so. If they were born here and their parents weren’t, then yes.” Megan, if someone was born in France and then moved here when they were, say ten, would they qualify for in state tuition?

These people were living in poverty which is why they came here in hopes of something better for themselves and their children. I doubt very seriously if any of them could prove to the authorities in Mexico that they were born there. So, by this reasoning they would have to pay out of state tuition in Mexico.

profound, you have to have lived in Kansas for three years to qualify for in state tuition.

I think the problem is that some are seeing this as theory and not seeing the people who are actually being affected by this decision. Could you look them in the eye and say they do not deserve a college education because their parents are from Mexico?

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profound 1 year, 2 months ago

If so, then any students brought to Kansas by their parents should receive in state tuition. That way anyone wanting to go to school in Kansas only has to have their parents bring them to school for in state turtion. Seems like the fair thing to do.

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BABBOY 1 year, 2 months ago

Hmmm. A substantive question for on the street question. How odd.

I think they need to find a way to make them documented as this is supposed to be the land of the free and opportunity.

Otherwise, burn down the Statue of Liberty cause the little quote on that thing is becoming meaningless........

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hitme 1 year, 2 months ago

The key word is undocumented. The answer to the question is, no.

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Bill Lee 1 year, 2 months ago

I wish the regents would go back to the old rule that graduates of Kansas high schools, no matter where they were born, are in-state residents and should pay in-state tuition.

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