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  1. #1
    Senior Member Populist's Avatar
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    May 2007

    ALIPAC: California bucks immigration enforcement trend
    REGION: California bucks immigration enforcement trend
    By EDWARD SIFUENTES - Staff Writer | Saturday, June 7, 2008 4:36 PM

    While other states move away from giving illegal immigrant college students state benefits, the California Legislature appears to be pushing to give them more access to colleges and universities.

    Last month, North Carolina's community college system said it would no longer admit illegal immigrants.

    But in California, where illegal immigrants are allowed to enroll in state colleges, some lawmakers are backing a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to qualify for state financial aid and fee waivers.

    An estimated 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from U.S. high schools each year and could potentially attend college, according to a study by the Urban Institute, a Washington-based economic and social policy research organization.

    Those students often are at the forefront of the nation's debate over immigration reform.

    Some see the students as a burden on the state's strained resources.

    Others see them as victims of the nation's broken immigration system.

    "These students are being severely impacted by inhumane immigration laws, and I think our educational laws need to change to ensure that all our students have equal access to education," said Arcela Nunez-Alvarez, who heads the National Latino Research Institute at Cal State San Marcos.

    Under a 2001 law, illegal immigrant students are given the same tuition discount as other state residents who attend UC, CSU and community college schools.

    Late last month, the state Assembly approved Assembly Bill 2083 by Assemblyman Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles. The bill would give illegal immigrant students access to state grants, scholarships, work-study and loan programs, which are now denied to them.

    A similar bill ---- known as the California Dream Act, named after a federal bill that would give illegal immigrant students legal status ---- was passed by the Legislature last year and was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    This year's bill, which is now in the state Senate, was approved in the Assembly largely along party lines, on a 46-31 vote. North County's all-Republican delegation voted against the bill on the Assembly floor.

    Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, said he doesn't want to give any state benefits to illegal immigrants.

    "If someone were to take two years off to serve their country and then decide to come back to college and his seat is taken by someone who is not a citizen of this country, that is not an acceptable scenario to me," Garrick said.

    The assemblyman said he would also support barring illegal immigrants from attending state colleges.

    Several North County legislators have repeatedly failed in their efforts to roll back the state's in-state tuition policy for illegal immigrants. That's largely due to the Democratic-dominated Legislature, which has effectively blocked Republican efforts to curb school benefits.

    In California, schools don't ask a student's immigration status when they apply for admission. They are allowed to apply for lower in-state tuition rates, but are not eligible for state and federal financial aid benefits.

    On the other hand, some states are pushing even harder to bar illegal immigrant students from entering their colleges and universities.

    A national debate

    The issue became a matter of debate recently in North Carolina. Last year, the community college system in that state chose to allow illegal immigrants into its 58 schools. Under a previous policy, the decision was left to individual campuses.

    The change was supported by Gov. Mike Easley, but it provoked heavy criticism ---- especially from the leading candidates running to replace the outgoing governor. That led the community college system to seek an opinion from the state attorney general's office on whether the admissions policy was legal under federal law.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper's office recommended the community colleges drop the lenient admissions policy, and suggested they follow stricter guidelines under which illegal immigrants were not eligible for a public post-secondary education.

    Both Easley and the community college system asked Cooper's office to seek formal guidance from federal authorities.

    Federal immigration officials last month released a statement saying there is no law prohibiting the state from educating illegal immigrants at public colleges and universities.

    Another state that is cracking down on illegal immigrant students is South Carolina, where Gov. Mark Sanford signed a bill Wednesday that bans illegal immigrants from attending public colleges.

    William Gheen, who heads Americans for Legal Immigration, an anti-illegal immigration group based in North Carolina, said he hopes other states follow South Carolina's example.

    "The momentum for immigration enforcement is clear in the states," Gheen said.

    The South Carolina law is one of several passed by states in recent years. The other states include Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia and Colorado.

    Arizona's law, approved by voters through a ballot measure in 2006, prohibits illegal immigrants from paying the less expensive in-state tuition rates. To attend a state school, they must pay the heftier out-of-state-fees.

    Remove the incentive

    Gheen said that a major reason why illegal immigrants come to the country is to give their children access to U.S. schools.

    "We must turn off all incentives for illegal aliens, and access to American colleges is clearly an incentive for illegal alien families to come here," Gheen said

    In 1994, voters in California passed one of the harshest anti-illegal immigration laws, Proposition 187, which would have barred illegal immigrant children from attending all public schools. The law was ruled largely unconstitutional.

    Last year, Schwarzenegger vetoed the California Dream Act, saying that extending benefits to illegal immigrant students would put further strains on the state's budget.

    Given the state's multibillion-dollar budget deficit this year, the governor is likely to veto the bill again if it makes it to his desk.

    However, some local Latino professors say not educating these students may create problems down the line and waste their valuable talents.

    Gheen said advocates for illegal immigrant rights are using children to further their goals.

    "I find it particularly distasteful that in their desperation they are using children as pawns," Gheen said. "They are playing on Americans' sympathies to get what they want."

    Palomar College Professor John Valdez disagreed. He said he sees students' disappointment every day.

    "I have encountered students that are bright and talented, but who become frustrated because they can't continue their education," Valdez said. "And it's depriving the country of these bright and talented people."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. ... 669a90.txt
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member agrneydgrl's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Gee, I thought we had many bright AMERICAN students. California has way toooooooo many illegals. I live in California and Fienstein is the worst. We need to get rid most of our elected officials. They want to put water restrictions on us and I tell them when they get rid of the poachers in our state and get the population back to where it should be, then I will consider watching my water. Until them they can stick it. In this last election, on June 3rd, I did not vote for anyone with a Spanish last name and for the life of me I don't know how Baca was re-elected. He is working to divide our country. Can't wait until Nunuz is out of office.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MontereySherry's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    "I have encountered students that are bright and talented, but who become frustrated because they can't continue their education," Valdez said. "And it's depriving the country of these bright and talented people."
    I have two bright and talented grandaughters (one a military dependant who's father is on the way to the Persian Gulf) that will be graduating next year. They are frustrated because tuition keeps rising as less students are accepted in colleges. You want to tell these American citizens that they have to compete for their education with illegal immigrants.

    Keep telling our students that they have to fight for an education or a job with illegal immigrants. Keep sending the message to our kids that the American government cares more about illegal immigrants then they do them and see what happens.

  4. #4
    Senior Member miguelina's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Over 1000 kids graduate from our high school every year. Over 90% go to college. This year quite a few families have been hard hit in the way of reduced or no financial aid. While talking to a group of these parents, I asked how they felt that their kids had to compete with illegal aliens for a spot in college. They thought I was joking! A majority of these parents were bleeding hearts for illegals UNTIL it affected their own kids (and pockets).

    I told them about the Dream Act and to go to ALIPAC.US to find out more of what the media and government are hiding from us.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  5. #5
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    This is why we're often called Mexifornia. What else can they do but cave in due to the astronomical numbers?
    Well, you other states keep at it before your hospitals close, jails are overcrowded, poor school performance, etc.
    And due to our budget crisis we're in for who knows what all kinds of fees and taxes they'll cram down our throats.
    You know, maybe other states do read our news more than we realize and don't want to make the same mistakes of being pc and caving into special interests.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  6. #6
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    I stay current on Americans for Legal Immigration PAC's fight to Secure Our Border and Send Illegals Home via E-mail Alerts (CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP)

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