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CA: Illegal immigrants find room at colleges - UC system has supported policy
ap on San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 7/24/06 | Juliana Barbassa - ap

Posted on 07/24/2006 12:02:26 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

SAN FRANCISCO – When he started high school, Matias Bernal's English was so limited he stumbled over the words for numbers and colors.

Four years later, he was on the wait list at Princeton.

Bernal is an illegal immigrant from Mexico City. Without access to financial aid, grants and most scholarships, he had to push aside the Ivy League brochures and prepare to attend California State University Fresno, where he can live with family and pay tuition with money from jobs he is not supposed to have.

“I was crushed,” he said.

About 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from U.S. high schools each year. With partisan Washington deadlocked over immigration, many states have been taking matters into their own hands.

Legislatures across the nation have passed 56 laws affecting immigrants this year – most of them cracking down on foreigners – but access to higher education seems to be one area where immigrants have been inching forward.

Nebraska recently joined nine other states – including Texas, New York and Illinois – that allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at their public institutions.

Although some states, such as Florida, have seen similar laws fail, the majority of undocumented students in the United States can count on paying the same tuition as the citizens who sit next to them in class.

California allows students without full citizenship to pay the lower tuition if they meet strict criteria, including residency in the state through high school. State legislators are seeking to take the next step and join Texas and other states that allow undocumented students attending California schools to apply for state financial aid.

“Immigration is a federal issue, but there are consequences for states when the feds fail to act,” said state Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, who sponsored the bill. “States have a right and a duty to act in their own interest.”

This state-by-state approach is better than nothing, supporters said, but it leaves a lot of gaps.

Five years ago, federal legislators first introduced a measure that would have filled in such gaps.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or Dream Act, as it is commonly called, sought to allow illegal immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools to become temporary residents, eligible for in-state tuition and financial aid, as long as they pursued higher education. If they met these requirements, and stayed out of trouble, they could become legal residents.

It never came up for debate. Although it has been reintroduced every year since, the Dream Act inevitably becomes tangled in the politicized immigration debate of Capitol Hill, said Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., one of the bill's sponsors.

“It's gotten caught up in the larger immigration debate,” Diaz-Balart said. “It's unfortunate – this is a fairness issue with regard to hardworking, studious people.”

Although measures that make education more accessible often garner bipartisan support, any move to improve the lot of people who are here illegally is still very controversial.

Opponents of the Dream Act argue that every seat taken in a classroom by someone such as Bernal means one less seat for others.

“There are other victims here,” said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington-based organization that seeks to stop illegal immigration. “If we admit someone who is here illegally, we're saying no to someone else.”

Some universities, including the University of California system, have publicly supported the measure, saying they are interested mainly in getting the best students they can, whatever their immigration status.

“Access isn't just being admitted to the university,” said UC spokesman Ricardo Vazquez. “It's being able to afford going to the university.”

Financial aid would help students such as Nora Razon, who was brought to California illegally from Jalisco, Mexico, when she was 2 and made it to San Francisco State University despite growing up in a home so violent she spent time in foster care.

Razon couldn't get financial aid, but because California law allowed her to pay in-state tuition – about $3,000 a year, instead of the $11,000 charged to out-of-state residents – she was able to pay for college by working nights as a waitress and commuting four hours round-trip by train.

“I refused to believe my education was going to stop,” she said.

Although states can help illegal immigrants afford college, only the federal government can make it easier for them to become legal residents, legislators said.

Laws in states such as California only postpone the moment when those students will enter the work force and face the fact that with or without a diploma they still are not allowed to work legally.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: aliens; california; cedillo; colleges; dreamact; illegalimmigrants; illegalimmigration; illegalingrates; immigrantlist; policy; sb160; supported; ucsystem

1 posted on 07/24/2006 12:02:26 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Yeah, well I didn't get to go to Princeton either. Went thru the University of California system with no loans, financial aide, etc. Worked as a bartender and paid my way thru college with cash from tips.
Why should I have to help pay for You? Go back to Mexico and get your education there!


2 posted on 07/24/2006 12:08:17 PM PDT by sheana
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To: NormsRevenge

It is lovely that children from other lands can attend school here but not at the expense of our own children who suffer from overcrowding, bi-lingual issues, lowering the academic requirements and teaching to suit the lowest common denominators.

This is criminal. Felons do not have rights nor do their families.


3 posted on 07/24/2006 12:08:36 PM PDT by imintrouble
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To: NormsRevenge; anyone
"About 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from U.S. high schools each year."

What is the average annual cost per student for public education? I can't remember the number.
4 posted on 07/24/2006 12:09:45 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead (Doing the jobs Americans won't do? Guess you haven't seen "Dirty Jobs")
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To: Texas_Jarhead

Well in California I think it is over $11k a student now.


5 posted on 07/24/2006 12:11:30 PM PDT by sheana
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To: NormsRevenge
“It's gotten caught up in the larger immigration debate,” Diaz-Balart said. “It's unfortunate – this is a fairness issue with regard to hardworking, studious people.”

How about fairness for the legal US taxpayer for a change. I'm sick of paying for illegal aliens. I estimated that at least 1/3 of my local and California taxes are diverted to illegal aliens.

6 posted on 07/24/2006 12:12:46 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

ping


7 posted on 07/24/2006 12:12:47 PM PDT by gubamyster
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To: NormsRevenge
Illegals: getting the tuition discounts Americans can't get

Arkansas State Law HB1525 almost gave in-state tuition to illegals in Arkansas. Some conservative activist, including freepers, lobbied against the bill which almost passed.

8 posted on 07/24/2006 12:13:23 PM PDT by pulaskibush (USA, founded by tolerant Christians. USSR, founded by intolerant Secularist.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Without access to financial aid, grants and most scholarships, he had to push aside the Ivy League brochures and prepare to attend California State University Fresno,

Are you sh*tt*ng me? This is supposed to be some dort of sob story? When my dad died when I was 15 we lost our home and savings and I "had to attend a state university." The horror! "Robbed" of attending an Ivy league I could not afford.

What the f*ck is wrong with Liberals? Since when do criminal aliens get public sympathy for not being able to pay to go to expensive schools? Has everyone lost their minds?

9 posted on 07/24/2006 12:13:49 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: NormsRevenge
California law allowed her to pay in-state tuition – about $3,000 a year, instead of the $11,000

Cry me a river.

I just finished paying for four years out of State tuition at U of AZ. for my son. AZ. makes it extremely difficult to qualify for instate tuition even for California residents (and yes we are multi generation US citizens).

In Calif. an out of state US citizen qualifies for in state tuition after one year residency.

10 posted on 07/24/2006 12:15:38 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money -- M. Thatcher)
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To: NormsRevenge

"Razon couldn't get financial aid, but because California law allowed her to pay in-state tuition – about $3,000 a year, instead of the $11,000 charged to out-of-state residents "

Grand theft of the State of California.

Some legal resident lost a slot to this illegal.


11 posted on 07/24/2006 12:19:29 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Taglines for sale or rent. Good "one liners", 50 cents.)
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To: NormsRevenge



Pay your taxes - after 200 years of slavery you owe us.


12 posted on 07/24/2006 12:22:50 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Michael.SF.

They should call it.....Out of Country Taxpayer Subsidized Tuition.

Disgusting!


13 posted on 07/24/2006 12:23:14 PM PDT by sheana
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To: stephenjohnbanker
It happens here in WA, too, when Vicente Fox came to visit, and had a big televised meeting with all of the Rat muckety-mucks, the in-state tuition for illegals was reiterated as a way that Washington State is in some sort of solidarity with Mexico.

Friggin' liberals, trying to make up for the guilt they feel about illegals mowing their lawns for cheap, by spending their fellow citizens' tax dollars. How Kennedyesque.

14 posted on 07/24/2006 12:25:30 PM PDT by hunter112 (Total victory at home and in the Middle East!)
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To: NormsRevenge; All
On further thought: The only way we really can effectively 'eliminate' illegal aliens coming in from Mexico, is to help Mexico raise the quality of life their and increase the job market.

I am willing to accept in state tuition for children of illegal aliens IFF: After graduation they are obligated to go back to their country of origin and use their education to improve Mexico.

15 posted on 07/24/2006 12:43:57 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money -- M. Thatcher)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

This girl is exactly the kind of American immigrant we want. She works hard, believes in higher education, put herself through school without asking for handouts, and considered it important enough to commute 4 hours a day.

There are different situations for illegals. This girl was 2 when she was brought here illegally. She didn't make the decision, nor could she do anything about it. She did the best she could, with the situation she had. Her actions indicate to me that she understands American values. Why should we punish someone like this? She has done all the right things.


16 posted on 07/24/2006 12:45:31 PM PDT by ga medic
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To: ga medic

I didn't bring her here either. Why should it be up to me to make sure the girl is educated, fed, housed, medicated, etc.?
It is not the girls fault but it DEFINITELY is not my fault either, even though I (we) are the ones that must pay for it.
I don't care if she did everything right in the U.S., she is Mexico's citizen and Mexico should be taking care of her, not us.


17 posted on 07/24/2006 12:51:12 PM PDT by sheana
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To: ga medic

So at this point why aren't we sending the bill to Mexico for her years of education?


18 posted on 07/24/2006 1:01:20 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Rabid ethnicist.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Illegal immigrants taking up the college spaces American kids should be getting.


19 posted on 07/24/2006 1:05:28 PM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: Michael.SF.
I am willing to accept in state tuition for children of illegal aliens IFF: After graduation they are obligated to go back to their country of origin and use their education to improve Mexico.

They have no intention of returning to Mexico. There is no opportunity there. Now that you have financed the education of illegal aliens, prepare for them to compete to take away your employment. You can share you sob story about having to train your outsourced replacement as a condition of getting your severance payment. It is certainly more economical than keeping an employee until retirement.

20 posted on 07/24/2006 1:07:41 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: ncountylee

Better get used to having these folks around; this is the only way the Democrat Party can find new voters.


21 posted on 07/24/2006 1:15:31 PM PDT by kjo
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To: sheana
"Well in California I think it is over $11k a student now."

Well that's just a mere $715,000,000 per year.
22 posted on 07/24/2006 1:19:57 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead (Doing the jobs Americans won't do? Guess you haven't seen "Dirty Jobs")
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To: NormsRevenge
A kid from Nevada has to pay OUT OF STATE in California, yet illegals there can pay IN STATE.

And yet, we are asked to think of the treatment afforded HER as being somehow lacking.

23 posted on 07/24/2006 1:25:22 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: Texas_Jarhead

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/caillegals.htm/
cost of illegal immigration in California in only 3 areas.


24 posted on 07/24/2006 1:29:52 PM PDT by sheana
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To: ncountylee
From Students Sue California Over Illegal In-State Tuition Policy

A 1996 federal law, 8 U.S.C § 1623, explicitly states that no state may grant resident status to an illegal alien living in that state and attending a public college or university unless the state grants the same benefit to all out-of-state students attending those public colleges or universities. The plaintiffs also contend that the California policy also violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. constitution.

25 posted on 07/24/2006 2:18:31 PM PDT by LNewman
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To: Texas_Jarhead
Well that's just a mere $715,000,000 per year.

For one grade's worth for those who actually graduate.

26 posted on 07/24/2006 2:23:49 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Loose lips sink ships - and the New York Times really doesn't have a problem with sinking ships.)
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To: VeniVidiVici

Seriously, no matter how fair that might be, Mexico isn't going to pay us anything. I understand the burden that illegals represent. However, we have already paid for her education. She is obviously hard working, and as a college graduate she will be a productive member of society. Why pay to educate her and throw her out, when she will likely become a much bigger tax payer than a tax consumer if we let her stay?


27 posted on 07/24/2006 3:14:07 PM PDT by ga medic
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To: ga medic
Why pay to educate her and throw her out, when she will likely become a much bigger tax payer than a tax consumer if we let her stay?

She needs to go back and help Mexico become a productive society or to foment revolution to force the government to pay for Mexican children to go to school beyond the 6th grade.

28 posted on 07/24/2006 7:42:45 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Rabid ethnicist.)
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To: hunter112

" How Kennedyesque."

Bingo!


29 posted on 07/24/2006 8:37:27 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Taglines for sale or rent. Good "one liners", 50 cents.)
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To: ga medic

"This girl is exactly the kind of American immigrant we want."

Yeah, but she is not an immigrant. She is illegal .
See post 17 for the rest of your enlightenment. SHEESH!


30 posted on 07/24/2006 8:40:50 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Taglines for sale or rent. Good "one liners", 50 cents.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Nebraska recently joined nine other states – including Texas, New York and
Illinois – that allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition
at their public institutions.


No mention that Tom Osborne (Nebraska Football G-d) lost his Republican
primary bid...to the current governor that vetoed that bill.
Mostly because he (Osborne) supported the give-away to illegals.

I bet there are a few Nebraska legislators wondering if they are
gonna' get some payback like Osborne the next time they stand for election...
31 posted on 07/24/2006 8:48:35 PM PDT by VOA
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To: NormsRevenge
Bernal is an illegal immigrant from Mexico City. Without access to financial aid, grants and most scholarships, he had to push aside the Ivy League brochures and prepare to attend California State University Fresno, where he can live with family and pay tuition with money from jobs he is not supposed to have.

Boo frickin' hoo! A lot of American citizens who are very intelligent can't afford Princeton either.

32 posted on 07/24/2006 8:51:32 PM PDT by uncitizen
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Matias Bernal... is an illegal immigrant from Mexico City. ... he had to ... prepare to attend California State University Fresno
...
Nora Razon, who was brought to California illegally from Jalisco, Mexico, when she was 2 and made it to San Francisco State University

The AP printed their entire names and school locations. I guess the AP wants readers to report these illegal aliens? DHS/ICE sure makes it confusing to figure out where.

Although Razon didn't have much choice in being brought here illegally, she is probably an adult now (at SFSU) and should take responsibility to make the effort to legalize her status.

33 posted on 07/25/2006 1:53:07 AM PDT by heleny
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