View Full Version : Education Bill for Illegal Immigrants Stirs Debate

Rick Stephens
05-31-2001, 04:01 PM
Los Angeles.California
Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Los Angeles- Illegal immigrants pursuing a college degree would be given legal status in the United States under legislation making its way through Congress.

But critics are blasting the bill, saying those who cross the border illegally could eventually pay less than U. S. citizens to get a college degree. They say legal status would give immigrants access to student aid and possible breaks on in-state tuition for state schools.

The bill, introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Chris Cannon (R-Utah), would provide relief only for students under 21 who have lived in America more than five years, and who are currently in the country.

The legislation also would give states the right to decide whom it charges for in-state tution, which would pave the way for illegal immigrants to get discounts on college costs.

"It's hard to conceive of another country where people can come illegally and have all the other taxpayers footing their bill," said Arnold Steinberg, chief strategist with the California Civil Rights Initiative.

Berman and Roybal-Allard refused to speak with Fox News. But Berman said in a statement that the bill is designed for those not eligible for aid and who can not afford out of state tution.

"We all suffer when good students in our communities are prevented from completing their education and realizing their potential," he said.

But critics maintain that a Mexican citizen studying in California would pay less than an American citizen from Iowa studying at the same university.

Steinberg said Americans will in effect, subsidize the education of illegal immigrants, even when struggling to finance the education of their own children. "What it really means is that all distinctions should disappear and the whole idea of citizenship has lost its worth and value," he said.

In his statement, Berman said the law would help the children of those who cross the border, who he said had no choice but to come with their parents.

"This is not an amnesty," he said. "Amnesty is for people who have done something wrong. These kids had no choice.

The bill, introduced May 21, has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

keg in kc
05-31-2001, 04:39 PM
From what I could gather reading the information, this is a bill dealing with 18-20 year old illegal immigrants who were brought or came across the boarder at the age of 15 or younger and live in the U.S.. How do they prove their time in the country? How much time has to pass before they can become naturalized citizens? (personal note: As my questions indicate, I would hope the idea here is more that we're giving federal aid to students who intend to become American citizens. I don't, however, know what's involved with gaining citizenship - I don't know much about this subject, to be honest...).

I suppose it's best to say that I'll really reserve judgement on this until I have enough information to make an informed statement about it. I really don't see much that I'm personally opposed, but it's really not a lot of information to go on...

05-31-2001, 05:29 PM
Bush passed a law in Texas that allowed illegals to go to college.

06-01-2001, 09:17 AM
Even I have to say that this idea is quite shakey.

I do see the benefits of helping to educate students from other countries. I spent nearly all of my undergrad years studying closely with international students and I see it as a win-win situation, especially in the technology industry. A great number of talented foreign students live here and work for US companies. IMO, this is great for our economy.

It can also be great for other nations economies, providing a potential boost to a country's lower standard of living. Many of the Chinese and Indian students that I know working in industry here in the US will send money back to their families ($500-$1000) per month. That money, in a country like India, can increase the annual household income by 10x. A boost like that could certainly help to reduce illegal immigration.

That said, this proposed bill makes me nervous. I see a more valid complaint about "subsidizing" (in this case, we are spending our tax dollars to allow these students to pay IN-STATE tuition rates). I also see lots of room for abuse. I am imagining fake private "colleges" that are used to collect finacial aid, provide a means of citizenship, but provide very limited if any education.

I am in favor of humanitarian aid, setting the international economic adjenda and providing strategic assistance. But I don't know that this idea fits squarely into any of those catagories.

What I would do:
1) I would want citizenship status to be awarded after graduation with a Bachelor's (or MS, PhD) degree.
2) I would limit it to only federally recognized instituations (no trade or beauty schools... too much room for potential abuse there).
3) And tuition rates should remain at the same level as those other international students are paying (eliminating any subsidies).


06-01-2001, 09:50 AM
If they are here illegally then it is impossible to prove they have been here 5 years...But that aside it is not the responsibility of the American tax payers to be forced to foot the bill for non-citizens...This is pretty ridiculous...What part of "illegal" don't these people understand? If we create programs to provide for "illegal" then are they really "illegal"?

This country is becoming so mentally distorted that it struggles to see a foot in front of it...Unfortunately California seems to be leading the way....

06-02-2001, 07:47 AM
I called to ask a question about my student loan yesterday. The first thing I got on the voice propt was "for English, press 1." I sat there and laughed.

I wonder, how are non-english speakers getting U.S government $$ to go to college. Or is the U.S. now providing foreigners with money to attend college in their own country.


06-02-2001, 07:59 AM
Let's see, on the one hand you have the Mexican government providing survival kits and first aid instruction to potential illegal immigrants, and on the other hand the children of these illegal immigrants are rewarded for their parents' law breaking with low cost education.
Yep, I can see how these measures would discourage the continual influx of illegal immigrants.

Bob Dole
06-02-2001, 08:48 AM
Bob Dole is too dumbfounded for words.

Gray Davis vetoed a similar bill last October (Assembly Bill 1197), so one can only hope that the most recent effort meets the same fate.

It's pretty simple to Bob Dole: If you want to reap the benefits of citizenship, immigrate legally and become a citizen.

06-02-2001, 09:27 AM
I repeat, Bush in Texas was the leader in funding education for illegals.

06-02-2001, 09:37 AM
Absurd! This would give incentive to parents to illegally come to our country so their children can have their education subsidised. Why don't we just make Mexico a state.


06-02-2001, 10:08 AM
Cheap educated labor is for many, like Bush, a good thing.

06-02-2001, 11:13 AM
Only in California would someone submit a bill like this. It only goes to show you that their complete morons out there!

keg in kc
06-02-2001, 11:38 AM
No doubt about that. Any state that would contribute 9 million dollars to the Bush campaign must be full of morons... :cool:

06-02-2001, 08:37 PM
It sounds more like something the Clinton's would back. Are they in California now?:confused: