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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    TN: In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students Fails in House Committee

    In-state tuition for undocumented students fails in House committee

    Adam Tamburin

    April 11, 2017

    Despite endorsements from Gov. Bill Haslam and college leaders statewide, an effort to give undocumented students in-state tuition at public colleges was struck down by a panel of state lawmakers Tuesday.


    The bill, which has notched victories in other committees this year, was killed in the House Education Administration & Planning Committee with a vote of six for and seven against. Among the no votes was Rep. Eddie Smith, R-Knoxville, who had co-sponsored similar legislation in the past.


    Tuesday's vote was another brutal defeat for Tennessee students and advocates who have been pushing the legislation for five years. A similar measure failed by one vote on the House floor in 2015.



    Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, blasted Tuesday's vote in a statement.


    "These hard-working Tennessee high school students are just asking for an opportunity to go to college," Teatro said. "Who benefits when legislators close the door and limit their potential? Denying these students a chance to go to college is short-sighted, mean-spirited and a betrayal of our values."

    Students who entered the country illegally must currently pay out-of-state tuition to attend a public college. Advocates say the out-of-state rates — which can be two or three times higher than in-state tuition — create a barrier for students who grew up in Tennessee. Those students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid.

    About twenty other states offer undocumented students in-state tuition. (ALIPAC CORRECTION OF ARTICLE: ONLY 16 STATES OFFER IN-STATE TUITION FOR ILLEGALS AND MOST OF THOSE STATES GOT THE LAW BY SURPRISE WITHOUT PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. MORE THAN 30 STATES HAVE REJECTED SIMILIAR LEGISLATION)

    To be eligible for the Tennessee measure, students would have been required to graduate from a state high school. Supporters say blocking undocumented students from attending college with unaffordable tuition squanders the investment the state makes during their K-12 schooling.

    During emotional remarks before the vote, House sponsor Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, said he had gotten phone calls and emails calling him a "California liberal" for supporting the bill. But he said clearing hurdles for students to be able to pay for college was rooted in conservative principles.


    "I think this is the best thing to do for the future of Tennessee," he said. "We're just saying if you can work hard and come up with the money to pay the in-state tuition, we're going to give you an opportunity to do so."

    After the measure failed by one vote, White pledged to sponsor the bill again next year.

    "I'll bring it up as long as it takes to help these children," he said.
    Rep. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro, said she and her colleagues had "really studied this," but she decided to vote no because she thought the bill would encourage immigrants to come to Tennessee illegally.

    "We will become a magnet in the Southeast if we pass this piece of legislation," she said.

    In a statement on Tuesday, Smith explained his no vote as a reaction, at least in part, to President Donald Trump's election. He said he had supported the 2015 bill because it applied only to students who qualified for legal status under rules set out by the Obama administration.

    "After two years of discussion, an election in which I knocked on roughly 31,000 doors in my district, and the election of President Donald Trump I decided to vote against HB0863," Smith said. "Immigration policy was a major platform of both parties in 2016 and I think we should give the new administration and Congress (time) to fix our broken immigration system before we act as a state on issues related to immigration."


    Tuesday, when he suggested some of his colleagues were making their decisions based on a political calculation.

    "I'm 67. If I live as long as my parents lived, I won't be here in 20 years. So what have we done while we're here? Are we doing anything of substance or am I just worried about getting reelected? I can't live like that," he said. "If I didn't believe this was the right thing to do I would not put this committee through this, because it's hard. We have national politics that makes this very, very hard."

    Conservative lawmakers took steps this week to ratchet up opposition to the bill. During a news conference hosted by the Conservative Majority Caucus Monday, Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, said he and his colleagues "were elected to come up here and say no to benefits for illegal immigrants."

    The Tennessee Board of Regents college system voted overwhelmingly to support the measure. And in March Haslam posed for photos with undocumented students on the steps of the Capitol and linked their work to his high-profile efforts to boost college enrollment.


    Students came from across the state to observe Tuesday's vote, crowding the hearing room and holding signs with their career goals written in marker. Their impact was palpable — multiple lawmakers appeared to be on the verge of tears throughout an emotional debate.

    Karla Meza Cruz, an undocumented student who came to Knoxville as a toddler, told the committee her earliest memories were of driving down Cumberland Avenue and watching students walk to class at the University of Tennessee. Her dream was to go to UT's flagship campus to pursue a law degree, a dream she said was out of reach because of the high price of out-of-state tuition there.

    "We are here today to fight for our futures, to better our state, to better our families," she said.

    After the vote, undocumented students wept in the hallways of Legislative Plaza.

    "It was crushing for all of us, seeing that many of us might not be able to pursue our careers," said Paulina Morelos Perez, a 19-year-old student who came to Tennessee from Mexico 11 years ago. "It's devastating to see how they don't want to do anything about it."


    http://www.tennessean.com/story/news...ey=&autologin=
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 04-11-2017 at 11:59 PM.
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    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    In-state college tuition bill for undocumented students fails in TN House panel



    April 11, 2017


    NASHVILLE - A House panel today narrowly shot down legislation that sought to grant in-state college tuition rates to undocumented students who have graduated from Tennessee high schools.

    House Education Administration and Planning Committee members voted down the bill on a 7-6 vote.

    Prior to the vote, the bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, passionately argued passionately for the issue, saying there are an estimated 13,000 students in Tennessee K-12 schools who were brought illegally into the U.S. by their parents "through no fault of their own."

    "They're graduating [high school] alongside our sons and daughters," White said, only to "find they can't go on. They have dreams of a better life through education."

    He argued his belief that it is "a basic conservative Republican position" to provide support for those "willing to get up and go to work or better their life."

    The students wouldn't be getting a free ride, White said, noting they would simply be paying college and university tuition at in-state rates instead of the out-of-state rates the students now face.
    Critics note in-state students pay only half of what their education costs.
    Karla Meza, 21, who said she was brought by her parents to the U.S. when she was three and grew up in Knoxville, testified in favor of the legislation.

    Meza said some of her earliest memories were driving with her parents on Cumberland Avenue and watching students who attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville walking toward classes.




    "I always wanted to go to UT," Meza said but noted when she turned 18 and graduated from high school, I was told I had to pay out-of-state tuition. I was really confused - I didn't feel different. I didn't understand why."

    As a result, she said she faces paying triple the tuition she had expected to pay, putting UT out of reach.

    Meza said she attended nearby Pellissippi State, a two-year community college, but had to depart with only a few hours left to go for her sociology degree in order to work full-time for additional funds to complete her degree work.

    Rep. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro, argued against the bill, warning, "we're going to become a magnet in the Southeast if we allow this legislation."

    She partially blamed high rates of illegal immigration in Middle Tennessee for Rutherford County schools having to build a new school every year to keep up with the growing number of students.


    "Right is right and wrong is wrong and I can't pass the burden along to the taxpayers of Tennessee," the Murfreesboro lawmaker said.

    Bill sponsor Rep. Mark White argued Congress' refusal to address illegal immigration is ultimately to blame.

    He said Tennessee currently pays to educate the undocumented students at the K-12 level and it only makes sense to let them pay in-state tuition rates to let them find occupations where they can earn good money and pay taxes that benefit all Tennesseans.

    Following the meeting, a group of young women who held signs stating their hopes of becoming doctors, engineers and other professional occupations wept and hugged one another.

    Rep. Mark White later said he doesn't intend to give up on the issue.


    http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/b...igrant/422330/
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
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    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Conservative Tennessee lawmakers decry in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants


    Kirk A. Bado

    April 10, 2017

    A group of conservative Tennessee lawmakers on Monday slammed a bill that would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at the state's public colleges and universities.


    Members of the Conservative Majority Caucus held a news conference outside the Tennessee House chamber to announce their opposition.
    Flanked by a dozen Republican members of the House, Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, decried the legislation sponsored by Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, as "unconstitutional" and a drain on Tennessee taxpayers.

    "Our state cannot afford to subsidize public college tuition for illegal aliens nor should it," Matheny said.


    The Tennessee Board of Regents, the organization that oversees the state's community and technical colleges, has endorsed the Republican legislation because it lowers the barrier to entry of higher education at a time when the state is trying to boost college enrollment. Undocumented students must currently pay out-of-state tuition to attend a public college.
    To be eligible, students would have to graduate from a Tennessee high school. Many of the eligible students entered the country illegally as young children and grew up calling Tennessee home.

    Matheny does not share the board's beliefs.

    "They were brought in by an irresponsible act, and unfortunately they have to pay the inconvenient consequences of that act," he said.
    As the lawmakers conducted the news conference, a small group of protesters stood facing them, holding signs saying "We are Watching." When the conference concluded, they began shouting down the lawmakers with chants of "No hate, educate."


    To be sure, various versions of the bill have attracted support from Republicans over the years. Gov. Bill Haslam offered an emphatic endorsement of this year's effort, posing for pictures with undocumented students on the Capitol steps.

    Saying that they are standing up for families and small-business owners, Matheny and his conservative colleagues vowed to oppose the bill throughout the legislative process.

    "We were elected to come up here and say no to benefits for illegal immigrants," Matheny said.

    The House version of the bill is set to go before the Education Administration & Planning Committee on Tuesday.


    http://www.tennessean.com/story/news...nts/100300698/


    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    So is it dead for this year? That means it's dead now right?!!

    Wow. I hope it's over and Tennessee has smelled the crap of in-state tuition which is unfair to Americans, rewards law-breakers, and is a lure for more illegal aliens.
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    Administrator admin's Avatar
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    About twenty other states offer undocumented students in-state tuition.
    I believe his claim in the first article is false. Only 16 states offer in-state tuition for illegals correct???

    W

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    Here is our ALIPAC National Press release on our activist win over this terrible bill in TN

    Americans Defeat illegal alien backers in Tennessee & Maryland; now move on CA bill
    https://www.alipac.us/f8/americans-d...a-bill-346016/

    This accomplishment has been added to the ALIPAC 2017 accomplishments list at..
    https://www.alipac.us/accomplishments/
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  7. #7
    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    I believe his claim in the first article is false. Only 16 states offer in-state tuition for illegals correct???
    W
    I'm going to make a guess and say the author of the article felt using the word "About" gave him the leeway to play loosely with the actual facts.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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