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

    TX Lawmaker: In-state college tuition for IAs violates...

    Lawmaker: In-state college tuition for illegal immigrants violates federal law

    A former Arlington City Council member turned anti-illegal immigrant crusader in the Texas House is trying to scrap Texas’ college tuition benefits for illegal immigrants.

    State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, has asked for a Texas attorney general’s opinion on the legality of a Texas law that allows illegal immigrants to receive state financial aid and in-state tuition.

    Berman asked for the opinion after a California appellate court ruled Sept. 16 that such college benefits for illegal immigrants in California conflict with federal law.

    "If it’s in violation in California, I would assume that we are also in violation here in Texas," Berman said. "I’m hoping to make people realize that we are a nation of laws. We have to obey our laws, and if we’re in violation of federal laws then we have to correct it."

    Texas became the first state to offer such college benefits to illegal immigrants in 2001, and at least eight states have followed suit. Efforts in Congress to make federal financial aid available to illegal immigrants have stalled.

    Berman served on the Arlington City Council from 1979 to 1985. In the 2007 legislative session he fought for anti-illegal immigration bills that ultimately died under opposition from business interests and the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

    Berman said he will try again in January by introducing bills that, among other things, would tax money transfers to Mexico and challenge the citizenship of children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents. ... 46712.html
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  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Undocumented immigrants' tuition waiver is questioned
    By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
    Article Launched: 10/02/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

    AUSTIN -- A North Texas legislator wants the state's top attorney to rule on the constitutionality of a law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates.
    "If we're in violation of United States law, then we need to correct that," said Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler.

    Last month, a panel of judges in California ruled that a similar law in that state violated the 1996 Immigration Act, which prohibits affording noncitizen students a benefit for which U.S. citizen students are ineligible.

    In a letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Berman asked whether Texas was violating the same provision.

    "It's an important issue because we're a nation of laws, aren't we?" Berman said. "And we've got to obey our laws if we're a nation of laws."

    Texas, in 2001, was the first state to enact a law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay less expensive in-state tuition.

    It allows students to pay the lower rate if they graduated from high school or received a GED in Texas, have lived in the state for three years, and sign an affidavit verifying they are seeking legal residency.

    Critics say that the law is one more benefit that encourages illegal immigration and that it is unfair to citizens from other states who must pay higher tuition rates.

    Proponents of the law say it protects the investment Texas has already made in educating the children of undocumented immigrants and it allows them to contribute to the economy.

    "As a state, we've benefited greatly from the minds and talent of immigrants at our universities," said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso.
    Luis Figueroa, legislative attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said Texas law did not violate the Constitution or federal law and that the California ruling was being appealed.

    "They should let the court rule and go through its pro cess before making any interpretations that will become moot or meaningless," Fi gueroa said.
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